TRUXTON, Mo. — A cold case detective has cracked a 14-year-old murder mystery, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.
Byron Owens was out celebrating his birthday in 2004. His body was found the next morning in a creek near the unit block of Shady Lane in Truxton. Charging documents said he had been shot five times by two of his friends. All three were in the Hells Lovers Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.
Owens' murder went unsolved for years.
But 18 months ago, Sheriff John Cottle assigned a cold case detective to look into the murder.
Now, they have two first-degree murder warrants.
Joseph Harrell, 36 years old from Warrenton, was taken into custody.
Daniel Russell, 57 years old from Tipton, was due to be released from the Department of Corrections. He was picked up by detectives Tuesday morning. Russell pled guilty to felony drug charges earlier this year. He was sentenced to six years in prison for the crime. He also was previously sentenced on other drug charges and for receiving stolen property.
Charging documents said Owens and Russell were involved in a theft together. The documents said Russell though Owens might be a snitch, and would kill him if he were found out. Police found Owens with stolen property a few days later, and a witness said he heard Owens promising to kill him again.
Charging documents said on the day of the murder, Harrell came to Russell's house to pick up Russell. A witness said Russell had something splattered on his face when returned home that night. That witness told investigators Russell burned his clothes from that and took a shower to wash himself off.
The witness also told police that Harrell had bought a special car just before the incident, but the car was never seen again.
The sheriff's department filed first-degree murder charges against both men.