Update: Investigators have identified a child and adult found dead in Gasconade County. The child was identified as Bentlee Turner and the adult as Monty Jason Barton. An autopsy will take place Thursday.
GASCONADE COUNTY, Mo. – A 4-year-old boy was found dead late Monday night in rural Missouri just hours after he was reported missing.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, local authorities in Belle, Missouri alerted state investigators to the missing boy just after 8:10 p.m.
The boy had reportedly been with a 37-year-old male family friend since the morning hours of Sunday, September 15.
Authorities located the 37-year-old’s vehicle on Valentine Ford Road near Missouri Route A in Gasconade County at 11:30 p.m. Monday. The boy and the adult were found dead nearby.
A cause of death was not given for the child or adult.
A spokesperson for the Missouri State Highway Patrol said investigators are calling this a death investigation and should be able to release more details soon.
“The public has no reason to think that there’s a danger out there, someone that’s running around abducting children or taking children and that’s just not the case,” said MSHP Sgt. Scott White.
Autopsies on both will be conducted at University Hospital in Columbia.
The investigation is being handled in cooperation with the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control, the Belle Police Department, Osage County Sheriff’s Department, and Gasconade County Sheriff’s Department.