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The search for a killer: Branson police investigate woman's hotel room death

63-year-old woman's husband considered a "person of interest"

February 25, 2013|Mary Moloney, KSPR News Reporter | mmoloney@kspr.com

BRANSON, Mo. -- Branson Police hunt for a killer. Sunday, workers at the Ramada Resort and Conference Center found a 63-year-old woman dead. An autopsy confirmed to officers that someone killed the woman.

Branson police said the woman and her husband came to Branson from southern California. They checked into the Ramada on Thursday. On Sunday, when it was time to check out, the husband had vanished and his wife was left dead.

The hotel sits in the shadow of Branson's popular strip. While the weekend's bright lights shined on Highway 76, a woman's lifeless body was left alone in room 182. Police said she had been dead in the room for more than a day before a hotel worker found her.

The call came into the Branson Police department shortly after 1:30 Sunday afternoon. By 9:00 that night, Kimmese Price and other hotel guests watched as investigators rolled the body out of the room.

"This is my first time here and I did not think I was going to be in a hotel where there would be a murder committed," said Price. "So it kinda freaked me out."

Price checked into the hotel on Saturday. She is staying five rooms from the crime scene and said she spoke to the hotel worker who discovered the body.

"He walked into the room because there was a do not disturb sign on the door. He couldn't tell that the lady was dead at first because she was on her side and she was in the second bed by the bathroom. He said that when he got about three steps forward, a little bit closer to that bed, he realized there was a pool of blood. That's when he called law enforcement," she explained.

Police shied away from calling the woman's husband a suspect. Instead, they said he is a person of interest.

"Obviously our goal is to locate the husband. Not knowing if he was involved or if he was a victim himself is something that we have to sort through and determine," Branson Police Chief Kent Crutcher detailed. "It's too early at this point to make any judgments about that. So our first goal is to try and locate him and speak to him."

Branson police do not know if the woman's husband is still in the area. It is believed that he may be driving a blue 2006 Dodge Durango, with California license 5WRF678.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Detective Sean Barnwell at (417) 337-8593.

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