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Travis C. Henderson

UPDATE:

According to a post on the Benton County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, Travis Henderson was taken into custody around 10 p.m. Thursday after a short standoff. 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

Local authorities are searching for a man after he allegedly killed a woman Wednesday evening near Ionia.

According to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, around 7:30 p.m. dispatch received a call from Khristy A. Clark, 47, who said Travis C. Henderson, 45, was pointing a shotgun at her outside a residence near Ionia. 

Upon deputies’ arrival, Clark was found dead from apparent gunshot wounds. 

“We don't know what happened because she called dispatch and then the line went dead so either he grabbed the phone and shut it off or she shut off,” Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox told the Democrat on Thursday. “There’s not a very good signal there so we don’t know. She had initially made the call and then the line went dead and then somebody else called shortly thereafter.”

Henderson fled from the scene in a pickup truck that was later recovered in a remote area east of Ionia. 

“We searched all the areas and houses. Spent all (Wednesday) night tromping looking and searching buildings and houses and pretty much exhausted everything that we had,” Knox said.

Know said Henderson worked as a bondsman and sometimes as a bounty hunter so he is well versed in the procedures local law enforcement uses. He left his cellphone in his truck, most likely so the deputies could not ping his phone to find his location. 

“He knows that we can ping his phone, he is a bondsman. He knows how we operate. He knows what the procedures are. He has the same gear we had. He had night vision,” Knox said. 

Knox also said Henderson is well known to the Benton County Sheriff's Office and they are unsure of what would have caused him to do this. 

“He has been in and out of our facility numerous times. We just don’t know what would cause a guy to trip off line,” Knox said. “We’re assuming some sort of neurotics. I don’t know the motive, but we believe we have the murder weapon.”

Missouri State Highway Patrol SWAT, MSHP troopers, Henry County and Pettis County deputies, and a helicopter armed with forward-looking infrared canvassed the surrounding area into the early morning hours Thursday.

It is believed Henderson had around an hour lead on the authorities from the time the crime happened to when his truck was found. Knox said authorities believe Henderson was picked up by an individual and removed from that location. 

“We've got way more questions than answers but we’re interviewing and calling and chasing people down and trying to get somebody that knows something but everybody is pretty tight-lipped,” Knox said.

“He can’t stay hidden forever. Not with social media and the power of the people. He’ll turn up here eventually,” Knox continued. 

Authorities do not believe Henderson is a threat to the general public but citizens should be aware and call 911 if he is spotted. Henderson is armed and should not be approached. 

There was no clothing description or direction of travel at the time of the report.

Anyone with any information regarding the crime or Henderson’s whereabouts is encouraged to call the Benton County Sheriff’s Office at 660-438-6135. 

City Reporter

Emily Walton is the city reporter for the Sedalia Democrat, covering local government and various city departments.

(1) comment

dgoodman

glad they caught this monster

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