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The Worth County Sheriff’s Office has asked for the public’s assistance in locating a missing Grant City woman.
According to information provided by the Worth County sheriff, Melissa Chapman, 43, was set to testify in an abuse case in Harrison County, MO against an individual who had previously threatened to kill her.
According to a post on the BeUnited Missing Persons website, Chapman last made contact with a friend on Saturday, August 22. The following day a friend received a text from Chapman, but “the text did not sound like the way Melissa would talk.” The last known sighting of Melissa was that Sunday.
A police report was filed August 26 when Chapman’s vehicle and cell phone were found abandoned in Mount Ayr.
Chapman is described as 5’3” tall with brown hair and brown eyes.
Creston police report she had previously been a long-term Creston resident and has contacts in that area.
NorthwestMoInfo.com reports Searles was arrested Monday evening, August 31.
Records in the Missouri Department of Corrections show Searles has a lengthy criminal record, including a six-year sentence in 2006 for deviant sexual assault, a Class C felony and two charges of failure to register as a sex offender in 2012 and 2020.
NorthwestMoInfo.com states, “Searles, who resided in Bethany at the time the [Domestic Assault and Kidnapping] charges were filed, is alleged to have assaulted Chapman at his residence multiple times by choking her, in an attempt to kill her or to cause her serious physical injury. Authorities also allege Searles threatened to kill the victim in front of her 9-year old child, whom Searles is said to have also assaulted. The report says the victim attempted to leave during the assault; however, Searles held her for approximately three hours.
“Searles was being held on a $100,000 cash only bond; however, he was released in June after the court reduced the bond to $10,000 with the posting of 10 percent approved.”
Anyone with information or who has seen Chapman is asked to call the Worth County Sheriff’s Office at 660–564-2677 or to leave an anonymous tip at www.be-united.org.