A woman whose dismembered body was found last month in a cage in southwest Missouri had been photographed nearly naked and partially wrapped in a blanket just hours before she was killed, authorities said.
What they are still trying to determine, though, is whether a tornado that day caused her body to be scattered across a wooded area. The twister roared through the Agora community on December 28.
Sheriff Trent Heckert of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said that authorities believe the victim, Ann Rutledge, 65, was killed sometime between December 26 and December 27, and she was dismembered in the following days.
She was found Saturday in a “cage type … wooden structure” on a property in Agora, about 20 miles northeast of Linn.
“There were no obvious signs of trauma to her body,” Heckert said, adding there was evidence that she had been doused with gasoline and set on fire before her body was taken to the makeshift coffin.
“What we do know is that there were pictures taken the morning before that, or the morning of, of her partially wrapped in blankets and other pictures taken of her fully clothed,” he said.
Authorities have said several people have come forward identifying a person who might be Rutledge. Her full name was not released.
“Anyone who has information on this case, I hope that you will come forward and help us find whoever was responsible for this,” Heckert said.
Agora had a population of about 300 people as of last census.