An autopsy revealed that a northern Newton County man slain in his home Wednesday died as a result of a single gunshot wound.

Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland said 58-year-old Jeffrey Slama died as a result of a gunshot wound to the back, which then exited the chest area. The autopsy was performed in Springfield.

As reported Thursday, Slama called authorities at about 8:20 a.m. Wednesday morning to report an intruder in his home at 2806 Insbrook Lane in Joplin.

In a press conference Wednesday, Copeland said someone had gained entry into the Slama residence by smashing a window with a rock, then turning the front doorknob.

Slama apparently was in another part of the house, heard the commotion, and went to investigate.

While the dispatcher still had telephone contact with the victim, Slama could be heard pleading with someone not to shoot him. A short time later, a gunshot was heard.

Deputies found Slama's body in the doorway of his home, the telephone still in his hand.

A crew working near the home said they saw a black car with a white male behind the wheel leaving the area.
However, the witnesses did not know the make or model of the car, or if it had two or four doors.

"We've been following up leads and getting a lot of calls about black cars," Copeland said. "There are a lot of black cars around here."

Similar suspect information has been gathered in burglaries occurring in nearby Barry County over the past couple of weeks. The sheriff said deputies have been checking both residential and convenience store surveillance video to see if it contained images of the suspect and / or a black car.