Elderly man murdered

Monday, August 21, 2006
Investigators walk into an apartment at 449 Femmer Drive in New Madrid where the body of Charles Toler, 70, was discovered Saturday morning.

NEW MADRID - Officers with the major case squad continue to sift through evidence and leads hoping to determine who murder an elderly New Madrid man.

The body of Charles Toler, 70, was discovered Saturday morning after New Madrid Police officers were asked to check on his well being. An officer forced his way inside Toler's apartment at 449 Femmer Drive and discovered the body.

New Madrid County Sheriff Terry Stevens said officials are estimating the incident took place Thursday evening, noting Toler was last seen about 6 p.m. Thursday. "Right now we think the motive was robbery," he added.

The Major Case Squad, which includes officers from the New Madrid County and Scott County sheriff departments, Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Sikeston Department of Public Safety, along with New Madrid City Police began an investigation. An estimated 25 to 30 officers were involved in the investigation which began Saturday and continued throughout the weekend.

"We are not releasing many details," Stevens said about the crime. "We don't want to tip our hand right now."

Stevens did state the cause of death was not "immediately evident." The autopsy was conducted Sunday in Farmington by Dr. Mike Zoricor, according to New Madrid County Coroner Jim McSpadden.

The sheriff added that officers have investigated several leads and are pursuing others. As of press time today, no arrests were made.

Authorities are asking anyone who may have seen Toler later than 6 p.m. Thursday, may have seen anyone in the area who looked suspicious or has any information about the crime to notify their local law enforcement. The telephone number for the New Madrid County Sheriff's Department is 573


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