Mother sought public’s help hours before son’s body found

Roxie Murphy, Republican Staff Writer
Posted 9/18/19

If you were looking at Facebook Monday evening, a Belle mother’s plea for the return of her missing child appeared in local news feeds.

The Facebook page “Belle Missouri …

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Mother sought public’s help hours before son’s body found

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If you were looking at Facebook Monday evening, a Belle mother’s plea for the return of her missing child appeared in local news feeds.

The Facebook page “Belle Missouri Marshal’s Office”  posted a photograph of Jason Barton, 37, and Bentlee Turner, 4, at 10:30 p.m. Sept. 16, requesting citizens’ help in finding the two, who had been missing for more than 24 hours.

“If you see these two people or (sic) know where their whereabouts are, or (sic) have any information that can help us locate them please contact the Belle Police Department.”

The photograph, showing both standing beside Barton’s yellow Humvee, was also visible on the youngster’s mother’s page. Brenda Turner’s post at 8:11 p.m. Monday sought information on the location of Barton and her son. She asked if anyone had seen either one of them to call her.

A woman who drove by Owensville City Hall around 8:30 p.m. Monday inquired of Board of Aldermen meeting visitors and city employees standing outside if they had seen the yellow vehicle Barton was known to drive. None had, they told the woman.

Belle Police patrolman Jerry Coborn was on duty Sept. 16 and took a report from the boy’s mother that her son had been missing. Marshal Joe Turnbough also became involved with the case after that.

According to the MSHP, the Belle Police Department notified them at 8:15 p.m. Sept. 16 about a missing 4-year-old male from Belle. The child had reportedly been with a 37-year-old male described as a “family friend” since the morning hours of Sunday, Sept. 15.

Facebook pages were filled with requests for people to be on the lookout for Barton and Turner. Barton’s vehicle was located at 11:30 p.m. Monday on Valentine Ford Road near Missouri Route A in Gasconade County.

“Further investigation revealed the male and child deceased nearby,” according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control which is handling what is being termed as a “death investigation” at this time.

Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman confirmed late Tuesday morning that the missing boy and male are Turner and Barton and that they were located near Valentine Ford.

According to the MSHP’s news release, autopsies will be conducted at University Hospital in Columbia, and an ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths is being conducted.

Barton, who has family in Owensville, was once employed as a cafeteria worker in the Gasconade County R-2 School District from March 2003 until May 2005.

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