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Dodd Pleads Guilty of 1st Degree Murder

FORSYTH, Mo. - A Missouri inmate charged with 1st degree murder in the 2003 death of a young mother from Hollister pleaded guilty today in Taney County Circuit Court.
FORSYTH, Mo. - A Missouri inmate charged with 1st degree murder in the 2003 death of a young mother from Hollister pleaded guilty today in Taney County Circuit Court.


Philip L. Dodd, 40, who is currently serving a 14-year sentence for robbery, in connection with the death of 19-yeaer-old Rebecca R. Sutton in March of 2003.


Sutton vanished from her apartment on 2nd Street in Hollister. February 2004, her skeletal remains were found in eastern Taney County, near Bradleyville, in the Mark Twain National Forrest.


In charging Dodd in March, Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Merrell  said Dodd confessed to the crime.


Court documents indicate he was a person of interest from the beginning of the investigation.

According to the probable cause statement, Rebecca Sutton, referred to as "R. Sutton" in the documents, called a friend and said a man named "Philip" just stopped by her apartment.

Sutton told the friend that "Philip" was Sutton's "ex-boyfriend's cousin's husband." Sutton went on to tell the friend that "Philip" attempted to kiss her while she sat on her couch and then later followed her into the kitchen.

Investigators interviewed Dodd three days after Sutton disappeared. Court papers say Dodd actually approached Hollister Police to ask about Sutton's missing person case.

"During this interview, Dodd provided investigators with conflicting information about the events that transcribed [sic] on March 20 and 21, 2003," the documents read.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Investigator Dan Nash talked to Dodd on March 4 and 8, 2013. During the March 8 interview, Dodd told Nash he had not been completely honest in previous interviews.

Dodd said he went to Sutton's apartment to use drugs and "attempt to obtain sex."

The documents also say Dodd admitted being present when Sutton died, wrapping up her body in bed sheets, and transporting her body to a wilderness area and putting under a rock outcropping.

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