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story.lead_photo.caption In this photo provided by the Johnson County, Kansas Sheriff's Office, Charles Pearson is pictured in a booking photo dated Oct. 8, 2018. Kansas City, Kansas, police have identified Pearson as the man they fatally shot near a popular shopping area after he said he had killed his wife. (Johnson County, Kansas Sheriff's Office via AP)

BENTONVILLE -- Police continued Thursday to investigate the killing of a woman whose body was found in Benton County.

The body of 49-year-old Sylvia Ann Ussery-Pearson of Overland Park, Kan., was found about 6 p.m. Tuesday near a water tank next to the Lodge on Whitney Mountain in Garfield, according to a news release from the Benton County sheriff's office.

An autopsy was done Thursday, said Capt. Jim Sutterby with the Overland Park Police Investigations Division.

Charles Pearson, 51, the woman's husband, walked into a Country Inn & Suites in Kansas City, Kan., on Tuesday and told the general manager that he killed his wife, said Jonathon Westbrook, a spokesman for Kansas City police. Pearson told the general manager that he had a gun and was headed to a nearby shopping district, Westbrook said.

Pearson was waiting for officers when they arrived. He got out of his car, fired several shots at officers, who returned fire and killed him, Westbrook said.

Pearson was a former Army Ranger who served for more than 20 years and completed several tours in Iraq, according to The Associated Press.

"We have a pretty good idea of the timeline, when he picked her up," Sutterby said. "We have a good overview of what took place."

John Lacy, with the Overland Park police, said Wednesday that Pearson once lived in Arkansas, but he didn't know where.

"We have no reason why he took her to that area," Sutterby said. "Maybe that question will get answered and maybe it won't."

It still hasn't been established if Ussery-Pearson was killed in Kansas and her body dumped in Benton County or if she was killed in Benton County, officials said.

A family member filed a missing-person report for Ussery-Pearson on Monday afternoon, according to Overland Park police.

Ussery-Pearson left her home in Kansas with her estranged husband earlier that morning, and throughout the day, family members and friends were unable to contact her, according to Overland Park police.

Police contacted Pearson on Monday night. He agreed to an interview and was cooperative. He said he didn't know where his wife was, according to police. He consented to a police search of his vehicle and home in Lenexa, Kan.

Pearson told friends Tuesday morning that he was suicidal and harmed his wife, according to Overland Park police.

During a search of his home, investigators found a handwritten note from Pearson indicating a possible location of his wife's body, police said.

"We only know that she ended up in Benton County because that's where Mr. Pearson said that he took her in his note," Overland Park Police Chief Frank Donchez Jr. told the Kansas City Star on Wednesday. Donchez described the note as a diagram.

"It was pretty accurate because they found her relatively quickly," he said.

Metro on 08/16/2019

Print Headline: Inquiry into slaying continues


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