Skeletal Remains Found in Field Were Those of Missing Woman
HIGHLAND, Kan. (AP) _ Skeletal remains found in a farm field were those of a missing Missouri woman, and a man charged in the slaying of another woman was tied to both deaths, officials said.
The remains found Sunday in the northeast Kansas field were identified Thursday as those of Patricia Diane Rose, 31, of St. Joseph.
An autopsy showed she died of blows to the head, said St. Joseph police spokesman Sgt. Jim Connors.
The body of Crystal Lynn Simmons, 33, also of St. Joseph, was found in the field Monday about 400 yards from the remains of Ms. Rose. Ms. Simmons also died of blows to the head, officials said.
Marvin L. Irvin, 41, was charged with murder in Ms. Simmons’ death. Authorities said he probably also will be charged with a second count.
″We have both physical and witness evidence that would link (Irvin) with Ms. Rose,″ said Dwight Scroggins, the Buchanan County, Mo., prosecutor.
The farm where the women were buried is near property once owned by Irvin’s family.
Authorities say Irvin also was a suspect in the disappearance of another St. Joseph woman, Micki Jo West, 19, who has been missing since 1979.
Irvin was held without bond in Buchanan County on a parole violation charge in Iowa. He was convicted in 1988 of threatening a Jefferson, Iowa, woman.
Irvin’s attorney sought a gag order Thursday to prevent St. Joseph police and prosecutors from commenting on the case to the media.
″We think it’s endangering our client’s right to a fair trial,″ said Buchanan County public defender Timothy D. Ernst. ″There are allegations of other crimes ... he has not been charged with.″
A hearing on the gag order was set for Wednesday in Buchanan County.
Patricia Rose’s sister, Vickie Fadden, said her family was relieved that their waiting was over.
″I feel that we are lucky that they found her,″ Fadden said. ″We don’t have to worry about her like the family of Micki Jo West must have for all of these years.″
Police said they would continue searching for other remains.