Betsy Faria cold case investigation could be wrapped up this year

FOX Files

LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. – It was just after Christmas 2011 when someone went into Betsy Faria’s home and stabbed her 55 times. Faria was already dying of breast cancer that had spread.

Her unsolved murder, profiled on FOX 2 over the last several years, might be close to resolution. The Lincoln County prosecutor thinks he’s closing in on the killer. We talked exclusively to the prosecutor about it as well as Betsy Faria’s widower, Russ Faria.

“It’s been a long time,” Russa said. “I think about it quite frequently, especially this time of year. This is when it happened.”

Russ Faria not only discovered his wife stabbed to death in their home, but also spent nearly four years in prison for her murder.

Betsy had months to live when she was murdered, dying of breast cancer that had spread to her liver.

“I’m still hopeful that something is going to happen,” Russ said. “We’re going to get a conclusion to this story – a happy conclusion.”

Released from prison in 2015 and exonerated in a second trial, Faria won a $2 million-plus settlement from Lincoln County.

He said it’s not enough. He wants justice for Betsy.

“It would finalize and let me know that I did everything I could to get justice for my wife and for the public. I think they deserve it too; to finally get an answer,” Russ said. “There’s a lot of unanswered questions in this case and I think we need to hear them.”

Many of the questions involve Betsy Faria’s friend Pam Hupp, who was the last person reported to see Betsy alive. Hupp also benefitted from Betsy’s $150,000 life insurance policy.

Previous Lincoln County leaders only used Hupp as a witness without giving her serious scrutiny as a possible suspect.

Russ is confident new Lincoln County leadership will not ignore any leads. Like new Sheriff Rick Harrell, who said he was motivated to run for the office he just won by watching our coverage overseas.

“To hear that somebody was serving our country in Afghanistan in one way, shape, or form and heard about my story and it inspired him to come back here and clean up the system in his home town, I just think that’s fantastic,” Russ said.

And prosecutor Mike Wood, who took over two years ago and reopened the investigation. He told FOX 2 on Monday that the pandemic may have slowed some interviews, but their evidence review is moving faster than they thought.

“We’re starting to come to the point where things are going to move very, very quickly and I wouldn’t be surprised if we have very significant announcements in the summer or even early fall,” Wood said.

A new lead arose to FOX 2 just this past weekend. We’ve turned it over to Wood, who said he’s already working it. He said our lead “100%, absolutely will lead to further action.”

Russ Faria spent years in prison with little hope but a lot of fight. It appears to finally be paying off after all this time.

“Thank all of the people who have supported me all these years, thank yourself, and all the folks at FOX 2 over there, because without you I honestly think I might have been forgotten about and my story shuffled under the rug,” he said.

About the FOX Files

The Fox Files are groundbreaking investigations you won’t see anywhere else. The series is well known for breaking the Pam Hupp story nationally. The reports that led to the exoneration of Russ Faria. But, it is far from the only time in which our investigations led to overturned convictions and freedom for the wrongfully accused. The Fox Files investigations do not fit into just one category, other than the fact our reports shine a light on issues and corruption in ways you won’t see anywhere else.

You won’t know what to expect as our reports often take twists that surprise even Fox Files investigator Chris Hayes.

“You never know where the truth will lead and you have to keep searching for it, even when you think you might be done,” Hayes said.

From getting arrested for trying to cover a public meeting, to getting law enforcement involved in his report about a daycare fight club, the Fox Files has been at the forefront of breaking news investigations in the St. Louis area.

It doesn’t stop just in St. Louis. The Pam Hupp/Russ Faria story took him to Lincoln County. Fox 2 was the first to report, nationally, on the synthetic drug epidemic when it began in St. Charles County, MO. In St. Louis County, our Fox Files reporting led to the dismantling of some police departments, including the departments of Uplands Park and Jennings. And in the City of St. Louis, our investigations led to swift government actions, such as our report that led to the Governor’s ordered shut down of a daycare.

Our reporting in St. Louis also led to former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’ exclusive Fox Files interviews involving his court fight to oust the chief prosecutor while attempting to prove that political corruption led to an illegal overturning of a state election.

“It’s not always bad news,” Hayes said about a recent victory for a restaurant in his coverage of a St. Clair County Illinois issue. A Fox Files report, exposing a health department’s mistake over the COVID-19 pandemic, led to an overturning of a decision, allowing the business to open for limited inside dining.

Another investigation took us to Madison County, where prosecutors praised Fox 2’s coverage while shutting down an illegal synthetic drug business – and to Monroe County, where we uncovered key evidence in the Chris Coleman murder trial.

Even the national media, continues reaching out to local affiliate Fox 2 KTVI and the Fox Files, for its work on cases that are important to St. Louis. When you see a network television’s coverage of St. Louis, you’ll often see that they gathered information that was first uncovered right here.

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