UPDATE (3:32 p.m.) — A press release from the Greene County Sheriff’s Department said all evidence and information is leading them to believe Briley died of a drug overdose. However, toxicology reports are still pending.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A man went into a Grant Beach auto shop Tuesday morning to get some electrical work done, but the shop’s owner had bigger concerns.
Russell Hercher, 55, was visibly shaken, court records show.
The man asked if Hercher was OK, then he looked to Hercher’s left.
Slouched in a car seat was a young woman with short blonde hair and a hand tattoo, court records show. Her skin was pale and her face was purple.
Hercher allegedly asked the man if he could help get rid of the body.
Hercher was charged Friday solely with abandonment of a corpse after the body of 20-year-old Devin Zoey Briley was found west of Springfield city limits near Farm Road 83.
Download to read the court probable cause statement here:
It does not appear anyone else has been charged in connection with Briley’s death so far.
Hercher’s shop, Dirty White Boys Polishing, is located about 12 miles away at 909 West Commercial Street.
According to a probable cause statement filed by a sheriff’s deputy, Hercher told the deputies that Briley had been in his shop Monday night, putting together needles with another man and saying she needed to get a “shot.”
Hercher said he left the shop and returned early the next morning to find both the man and woman asleep.
Hercher roused the man, the statement said, but he covered Briley with a blanket because he thought she was still sleeping.
When he realized she was not sleeping, Hercher said he was unsure what to do and decided to get high, according to the statement.
Later, a woman advised him to contact the police, the statement said, but Hercher didn’t heed that advice.
Instead, he put the body in the backseat of a burgundy car, the statement said, and late Tuesday night Hercher drove west.
Hercher allegedly said he didn’t know where he was and he left the body someplace where it could be found.
About 12 hours later, a couple driving down a Greene County road saw the body just before noon and called 911.
The statement said authorities were able to identify Briley using a portable fingerprint-scanning device.
A woman with knowledge of Briley’s death spoke with deputies Wednesday night, according to the statement.
Hercher allegedly told the woman that Briley had been given a “Hot-Shot” of drugs by a a man named Jerry.
A hot-shot is a term that typically refers to a lethal amount of drugs intentionally given to an unsuspecting user.
Briley’s cause of death is not described in court documents. It’s unclear who Jerry is and whether investigators consider him a suspect.
After abandoning Briley’s body, Hercher fled to Arkansas, court records show, and was arrested in Fulton County on unrelated charges. That’s where Greene County Sheriff’s deputies say they interviewed him Thursday.
According to a bond recommendation filed by prosecutors, Hercher has multiple felony convictions, including possession of a controlled substance, first-degree statutory sodomy, forcible rape and escape from custody.
(story shared by the Springfield News-Leader. Read the original article here )