Man Accused of Stealing From Dead Friend

Leonard Pherigo is also charged with not reporting the man's death

BRANSON, Mo. -- A man from Hollister is charged with burglary and abandonment of a corpse, after he allegedly found a friend dead and stole the man's phone, driver's license, credit cards and pickup truck.

Leonard Pherigo, 36, Hollister, was arrested after driving the dead man's pickup to Downstream Casino just west of Joplin.

According to a probable cause statement from the Branson Police Department, Pherigo found Mark Pace dead on the floor of an apartment at the Branson Park Apartments last Friday.  He took Pace's cell phone, but never called police of emergency medical crews to report the death.

Pherigo was in court on the charges Tuesday.  He waived the formal reading of the charges and pleaded not guilty.  He is due back in court next week for a hearing on whether to reduce his bond.



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