TANEY COUNTY, Mo. – A Kansas man has been arrested after 30 years in connection to a cold case in Taney County.
Tony Lee Wagner, 61, of Fort Scott, Kansas was arrested on October 11, 2022, and charged with two counts of 1st-degree assault, one count of 1st-degree kidnapping, and one count of forcible rape, all Class A Felonies, according to court documents.
Class A felonies do not have a statute of limitations in Missouri, according to the Missouri Reviser of Statutes.
This means that, unlike certain misdemeanors, crimes like murder, rape, sodomy, and attempted rape or sodomy in the 1st degree can be prosecuted regardless of how many months or years have passed since the crime took place.
In April 1992, two Texas women traveled to Taney County and visited Henning State Park. While they were walking the trails there, they were assaulted by an unknown man. According to the release from MSHP, one of the women escaped and got help from a nearby motorist.
Both women were taken to local hospitals and both the Taney County Sheriff’s Department and MSHP worked to investigate.
No suspects were identified during the initial investigation, according to the MSHP release, and the case went cold.
Missouri State Highway Patrol said that advances in forensic science technology led to Wagner being considered a suspect in the assaults.
Troop D Division of Drug and Crime Control Unit, the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Laboratory Division, Fort Scott Police Department, and Parabon Nanolabs collaborated to solve the case. The Taney County Sheriff’s Office also played a large part in this continued investigation, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Fort Scott Police officers arrested Wagner and he is being held in the Bourbon County, Kansas, jail pending extradition to Missouri.