Deputies with the Newton County Sheriff’s Department arrested a Carl Junction woman Tuesday night in regard to case of a dead body found in a driveway at 13314 Highway V last Friday morning.
Chelsie Berry, 24, is in the Newton County Jail awaiting the filing of formal charges. Berry was picked up around 8 p.m. with the assistance of Jasper County Sheriff’s Department.
“Believe it or not, she was on Facebook with a picture of her and the dead guy,” Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland said. “Through our investigation, we were told that there was somebody on Facebook and we were able to determine then. We are looking for another subject right now, Jared Prier, involved in this also.”
Late Wednesday afternoon, Copeland told the Neosho Daily News that Prier, 28, had been arrested.
The victim was identified Saturday as Dennis Meyer, 30, of Joplin, Copeland said Meyer was a member of the Joplin Honkeys gang, and was well known to area law enforcement officials.
“From what we had been told so far, they [Meyer, Berry and Prier] were driving around, all three of them doing drugs, meth and other drugs. [Berry] says that [Meyer] apparently overdosed,” Copeland said. “They were afraid to take him to a hospital, afraid that they would all get in trouble, so he finally died, then they drove around trying to decide what to do with him, found a driveway, and drove down it and dumped his body out.”
Copeland said that the Joplin Police Department detectives helped them find Prier.
“Their detectives were working on locating him too, and gave us a call where he might be and our investigators went up and he was there,” said Copeland.
Prier and Berry are currently in custody of the Newton County Jail, on a $50,000 cash only bond each. Copeland noted a charge of involuntary manslaughter is off of the table for now.
“[The prosecutor] decided to not do that at this point,” said the sheriff.
Both are charged with abandonment of a corpse, a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison. Additionally, Berry faces a Class C felony charge of receiving stolen property, punishable by up to seven years in prison if a conviction is reached.
Copeland said Meyer had “Joplin Honkeys” tattooed on his back, and also had the numbers “417” tattooed on his body. The number represents the Joplin telephone area code and denotes membership in the gang.
Copeland said the case might be related to a shooting that happened in the early morning hours of Aug. 18.
At about 5 a.m. that day, deputies were dispatched to the 3500 area of Cherry Road. There, they found 44-year-old Tommy Webb with two gunshot wounds, one in the stomach, the other in a leg.
Webb gave deputies three different accounts of how he was shot. First, he told authorities he had picked up a hitchhiker, who shot him. Another version was he was shot by an unknown person or persons while he was walking in the woods. A third version was someone approached his vehicle and he was shot while in the car.
Webb is also a member of the Joplin Honkeys gang, Copeland said.
Anyone who has information about the case should contact the Newton County Sheriff’s Department at 451-8300.
Daily News Managing Editor John Ford contributed to this story.