Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Murder of Christine Elkins

This is a case of dogged and determined Law Enforcement people simply not letting go, finding the body of Christine Elkins and putting away her killers.  The men doggedly pursuing the case where ATF agent Michael Schmitz, ATF Special Agent Mark James, Supervisory Agent Duane Nichols and Maryville cop Randy Strong.  The case started out with SA James wanting to build a case against local thief and thug Tony Emery, who had then decided to distribute Methamphetamine, using violence and intimidation to corner the meth market in Northeast Missouri.  The ATF caught a break when a former pusher for Emery, 32 year old Christine Elkins, decided to turn informer against Emery, and his cousin, Herb "Tug" Emery.  She had peddled meth for Emery for 18 months.  Emery had heard that cops had been around to see Christine Elkins, so with his cousin and a friend, Bobby Miller, they planned to kill her, wrap her in a rug and dispose of her in a barrel filled with cement.

    At her home, Christine was bludgeoned to death, wrapped in a rug, placed in the boot of her car and it was driven away, never to be seen.  Not for years.  Law enforcement searched extensively for the missing Christine, and the break came when Herb Emery mentioned to an associate that they had disposed of a body.  This associate, unknown to Emery, was in fact a Federal Informant, who duly passed on this information.  They realised he had discussed the murder of Christine Elkins.  Ten months after her disappearance, Tony Emery received 9 years for drug offences in Colorado  During this time, searches were made of possible dump sites, such as rivers, gravel pits, etc but as the years passed, nothing was found.

    Mike Schmitz did a cold case review, along with Maryville detective Randy Strong.  But parole time was nearing for Tony Emery, so pressure was put on.  Enough circumstantial evidence was gathered to charge Herb Emery with her murder.  He decided to turn State's Evidence.  Meanwhile, a witness had been located who had told Tony Emery how to get rid of a car, by dumping it in the Missouri River.  A specialist search team called Necrosearch did a survey of the river, currents, depths and calculated the best place to look.  They then located an incredible 11 cars in the Missouri River.  Ten were duly dragged out but were not the car belonging to Christine.  The last car was checked by a diver who was able to remove the licence plate.  It was Christine`s.  She had been found.  Her body was wrapped in a rug in the boot.  An unforgettable image was that of Randy Strong holding the number plate aloft in the divers` boat.

    Tony Emery went on trial for murder.  Herb Emery gave evidence for the Prosecution.  He received 22 years, but his cousin received Life Without Parole, a fitting end to this hardened killer and thug.  The case is an outstanding example of cops simply not giving up.