In CASSVILLE, Missouri, two men were charged Saturday with murder and rape in the death of a 9 year old girl whose body was found the day before in a hillside cave in southwest Missouri.
Barry County prosecutors charged the girl’s 25 year old stepfather, David Spears, and his friend, Chris Collings, 32, with one count each of first-degree murder, forcible rape and statutory rape in the death of Rowan Ford.
Rowan’s body was found Friday in a cave in a remote part of McDonald County, about 10 miles south of the village of Stella, where she lived with her mother and David Spears. Her disappearance last weekend led to an intensive search by dozens of officers from three counties and 50 FBI agents and specialists.
Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly said Collings confessed to authorities on Friday.
Based in part on Collings’ statement, the affidavit Epperly sent to the prosecutor alleges that the men took Rowan from her home to a camping trailer where Collings lived in Barry County, Epperly said.
There, Epperly said, both men raped Rowan and one of them then strangled her with a cord. Epperly did not say which one of the men strangled the girl.
Collings’ brother, Greg Horton, 44, said he didn’t believe the allegations.
“I don’t believe he could do something like this. He has three kids of his own,” Horton said. Collings’ children are all younger than 10 and live in Arkansas with their mother, who is separated from Collings, Horton said.
Collings was being held in Barry County jail. Epperly said he didn’t know if Collings had an attorney.
Myrna Spears, David Spears’ mother, said Saturday her son did not have a lawyer. He was being held in Newton County jail.
The mother discovered her daughter was missing about 9 a.m. November 3, after working a night shift at a Wal-Mart in a nearby town.
David Spears initially told investigators he had gone out with friends the night of November 2, leaving Rowan alone after she fell asleep. He said he returned around midnight but did not check on the girl, authorities said.
Authorities said he later acknowledged he had gone out a second time, around 1:30 a.m. on November 3, after calling his mother and asking to borrow her sport utility vehicle. His mother has said she watched TV but did not check on Rowan while she waited for Spears to return. He was gone for five and a half hours.
Spears previously said that it was wrong for him to leave the girl alone and that he initially withheld some information about his whereabouts that night because he was afraid authorities would suspect him in her disappearance.
Colleen and David Spears reported Rowan missing about 6:50 p.m. on November 3, after spending much of the day looking for the girl at the homes of acquaintances where they thought she might have gone.
Thank you AP News
What kind of monsters would rape and kill this beautiful little girl?
And they did it together…
WHY didn’t one stop the other??? It is unconcievable!
~The Baby Boomer Queen~