Deaths of 4-year-old and family friend ruled a murder-suicide

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COLUMBIA, Mo. – An autopsy has determined a 4-year-old boy and 37-year-old man found dead in rural Missouri last week died in a murder-suicide.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said the Boone County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the boy, Bentlee Turner, died as a result of a single gunshot wound to the head. The adult, Monty Barton, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

The autopsies were conducted at University Hospital in Columbia.

Turner and Barton were found dead on Valentine Ford Road near Missouri Route A in Gasconade County, just after 11:30 p.m. on Monday, September 16, a few hours after the 4-year-old had been reported missing.

According to state police, local authorities in Belle, Missouri alerted state investigators to the missing boy just after 8:10 p.m.

The boy had reportedly been with Barton since the morning hours of Sunday, September 15.

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