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Spa City police join hunt for slaying suspect

November 1, 2020 at 3:46 a.m.

HOT SPRINGS -- A Missouri man wanted in connection with his mother's homicide is believed to be in the Hot Springs area after evidence related to the crime was left in the back of a pickup at a Walmart store in the area last week, according to law enforcement agencies in Missouri and Hot Springs.

The Vernon County sheriff's office in Vernon County, Mo., on Friday identified the victim as Connie J. Goodwin, 63, the mother of the man sought in the case, Aaron Goodwin.

A statement posted on the sheriff's office website Friday morning says Aaron Goodwin is believed to be in the Hot Springs area. Goodwin, 38, is wanted by the Missouri Highway Patrol for felony "abandonment of a corpse."

Evidence linked to the crime was located in a trash bag that had been placed in the back of a pickup in Hot Springs, according to city police.

The homicide occurred in the southwest portion of Vernon County, Mo.

Anyone with information regarding the location of Aaron Goodwin can contact the Vernon County sheriff's office communications center at (417) 667-6042.

Hot Springs police issued an alert Thursday for Aaron Goodwin after the evidence was found Wednesday in the back of the pickup.

Hot Springs police posted a "wanted" alert on its Facebook page Thursday afternoon.

Goodwin is described as white; 5 feet, 8 inches tall; weighing 140 pounds; with brown hair; a beard; and one brown eye and one blue eye. He was last seen around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday in the 4800 block of Central Avenue in Hot Springs, wearing light-colored pants, a black sweatshirt, a black ball cap, and carrying a backpack, the post said.

Police warned that he should be considered "armed and dangerous," and urged anyone who sees him or has information about his whereabouts to call the Hot Springs Police Department or 911.

Shortly after 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Hot Springs police were called to the Walmart Neighborhood Market at 1544 Malvern Ave., regarding a "suspicious package," a news release said.

Officers discovered "possible evidence in a trash bag" in the back of the pickup. The owner of the vehicle was interviewed, the release said, and investigators learned through video surveillance that the trash bag was placed in the back of the truck at another location, a local hotel, Tuesday night by an unknown individual.

The release did not state the nature of the evidence in the trash bag.

According to a news release issued Thursday by the Vernon County sheriff's office, deputies there responded to a report of a deceased person at a residence on Quail Road in the southwest area of Vernon County near the Kansas line Wednesday morning.

Vernon County Sheriff Jason Mosher said in the release that his office requested assistance from the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Investigations Unit and the Bates County sheriff's office. Mobile command units were set up near the crime scene as the investigation was being conducted.

Hot Springs police are now assisting the Missouri Highway Police and the Vernon County sheriff's office in the investigation.

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