UPDATE 10/20 — Michael Billingsley is scheduled for a plea hearing or trial setting on Dec. 19 at 1 p.m. at the Rolla courthouse.
BEULAH, Mo.– A father and son have been charged in the death of a resident of northern Texas County.
Douglas Wayne Billingsley, 66, and Michael Douglas Billingsley, 37, were both arrested related to the death of resident Vanessa Lee Bradfield.
The Phelps County Sheriff’s Office said Michael Billingsley was the boyfriend of Bradfield. He was charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter and abandonment of a corpse.
A probable cause statement from the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department stated that deputies were called to respond to a woman’s death on Monday and found Bradfield’s body. Deputies found Michael Billingsley later at a neighbor’s house and arrested him.
Michael Billingsley told investigators he and Bradfield had a fight Sunday evening, which ended up getting physical. According to the probable cause statement, Billingsley told deputies he slapped Bradfield and she fell to the ground, where he left her while we went to the house to take a nap.
Deputies said Michael Billingsley told them he woke up and found that Bradfield was not home, and he found her laying on the ground where she fell after being hit. He said he attempted CPR but that Bradfield was badly hurt and his efforts failed.
Michael Billingsley told deputies he returned to the home where he cooked a meal for the victim’s two children, “in a celebration of life for the deceased,” according to the PC statement. Then Michael Billingsley left the scene because he had an active warrant for his arrest.
Billingsley’s father, Douglas Billingsley, was charged with tampering with evidence in a felony proceeding but was released after posting a $20,000 bond. Michael Billingsley is being held without bond.
A probable cause statement said Douglas Billingsley voluntarily went to the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department and gave investigators his cell phone with consent to search it.
The PC statement showed Douglas Billingsley and his son sent several text messages to each other after the incident. One text from Michael said, “She’s gone. . here but gone.” Another from Michael stated, “Looks like she slammed head on rocks.” The last message, according to investigators, was from Douglas Billingsley and said to delete all messages. Douglas Billingsley said he did not want his son to get in trouble.
The Sheriff’s Office said new information was discovered and are anticipating filing new charges of felony murder, domestic assault and abandonment of a corpse against Michael Billingsley. These charges have not yet been made official, however.