Two men charged in murder and rape of 9 yo Mo girl

  1. We followed this poor girls abduction for a week, all the time thinking the stepdad had to have something to do with this. Any Mo girls know anything more? The Joplin paper has done a great job of getting information out. I only pray that justice is swift and that the general population in prison may deal the final hand when they are convicted. There is nothing that can defend this horrific act.

    May this sweet child rest at the knee of God.

    There are several links to the story in the newspaper web page, some are graffic.

    1:37 p.m. 11/10/07 Sheriff: 9 year old sexually assaulted, strangled to death

    — STELLA, Mo. — Two men have been charged today with murder and rape in the death of a 9-year-old Stella girl whose body was find in a cave on Friday.
    Barry County prosecutors charged Rowan Ford’s 24-year-old stepfather, David Spears, and his friend, Chris Collings, 32, with one count each of first-degree murder, forcible rape and statutory rape. The girl was taken from her Newton County home on Nov. 2.
    Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly said autopsy reports are still pending, but preliminary indications are the girl was strangled to death before her body was dumped in the cave in rural McDonald County.
    “One of my investigators said she was obviously strangled,” Epperly said.
    Rowan Ford’s disappearance from her home in Stella last week sparked a massive search by dozens of officers from three counties and special agents from the FBI.. Her body was found early Friday near Powell.
    Authorities arrested Spears and Collings last night.
    Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland said his office expects to file charges against the two men later this week.
    “Right now, the main deal is the charges in Barry County,” he said.

    Copyright © 1999-2006 cnhi, inc.
  2. wow that is horribly sick how grown men could do this to a child. Where in the world was the mother when this happened?
  3. That is awful!!!!! That poor girl. Those men deserve the death sentence.
  4. I was trying to find the original article where the stepfather talks of leaving the sleeping child home alone after her mother left for work. This article has a few more details.

    Missing girl’s body found; stepfather, friend being held

    — By Jeff Lehr and Derek Spellman,
    STELLA, Mo. — One man was under arrest in Barry County on Friday night and another was being held at the Newton County Sheriff’s Department — both expected to be charged with the murder of 9-year-old Rowan Ford, of Stella.
    Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland said the investigation into Ford’s abduction and slaying a week ago took “a total change in direction” about 6 p.m. on Friday, 10 hours after the girl’s body was found in a sinkhole in McDonald County.
    Copeland said the change came about as a result of an investigator’s interview of a Wheaton resident. He said information obtained in the interview led to the discovery of a murder scene in Barry County, where authorities believe the girl was killed. The sheriff would not say where the murder scene was located.
    But the sheriff said investigators now think Rowan was abducted from her home in Newton County, murdered in Barry County and her body disposed of in McDonald County.
    The FBI and Newton County Sheriff’s Department were not releasing the names of either man pending the filing of murder charges in Barry County, although Copeland did say one suspect was 24.
    The Barry County sheriff did not return phone calls seeking identification of the suspects, but a news release from the Barry County Sheriff’s Department identified the girl’s stepfather, David Spears, 24, as the suspect who was in custody in Newton County on Friday night and was expected to be charged in Barry County. The Globe has learned that Spears’ friend, Chris Collins, 32, of Wheaton, is the man under arrest in Barry County.
    Copeland said kidnapping charges are likely to be filed in Newton County, but the girl’s murder was committed in Barry County and will be prosecuted there.
    Spears’ mother, Myrna Spears, told the Globe Friday night that her son was picked up by investigators between 5 and 5:30 p.m. Friday and taken to the Newton County Sheriff’s Department for further questioning.
    “I’m just hoping David comes home here in a little bit,” she told the Globe at 8:20 p.m.
    She said her son did not take an attorney with him. She said he could not afford one. She insisted he is innocent of any wrongdoing.
    “He could not hurt a child,” she said. “To him, she was his. She called him ‘Daddy.’”
    McDonald County deputies Jake Boles and Mike Hall found the girl’s body about 8 a.m. Friday in a sinkhole near Powell. Boles was familiar with the sinkhole and knew it had not been checked yet in the search for the girl that has been going on since Sunday. The sinkhole is about 20 feet off Fox Road near Mikes Creek Road east of Powell.
    Boles discovered the girl’s body under a ledge in the hole.
    “If you did not know where the sinkhole is, you would not be able to see it, even from the road,” McDonald County Sheriff Don Sclessman said.
    He said it would take someone quite familiar with the hole’s location to be able to find it at night and place a body there. The sinkhole is in a remote, heavily wooded and sparsely populated area of McDonald County.
    The discovery of the body changed the missing-person case into a homicide investigation. But the Newton County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI declined to discuss how the girl was killed or whether she appeared to have been sexually assaulted, pending the findings of an autopsy scheduled to be performed in Springfield today.
    The immediate vicinity of the sinkhole was cordoned off for much of the day Friday and a no-fly zone established above it while an FBI evidence-response team worked the crime scene. The girl’s body was removed late in the morning.
    The same FBI evidence-gathering team began working the murder scene in Barry County on Friday night. All evidence gathered in the case is being sent to the FBI’s crime lab in Quantico, Va., Copeland said.
    Rowan Ford disappeared from her house late Friday night or early Saturday. She was last seen by her stepfather at 10:45 p.m. when he told investigators that he and two male friends who were at the house went out. Spears told investigators he looked in the bedroom of the girl before leaving and she was asleep.
    He said when one of the friends dropped him back off at the house around midnight, he did not check on her again before going to sleep.
    Spears did not initially tell investigators that he left the house a second time around 1:30 a.m. after calling his mother and asking to borrow her vehicle. He was gone for 5 1/2 hours in the mother’s Chevrolet Suburban, returning about 7 a.m. Myrna Spears reportedly watched television in her son’s living room and never checked on the girl during that time.
    Both the mother’s Suburban and an old pickup truck belonging to Spears were processed for evidence this week at the Newton County Sheriff’s Department.
    “He told us his truck was low on gas, which is why he called his mother to come over,” the sheriff said. “He wanted to use her vehicle.”
    The sheriff would not comment on where Spears said he went in the vehicle or what he was doing for 5 1/2 hours, except to say that he told them he went for a ride “to clear his head.”
    Copeland said everyone who was in the house that night, including Rowan’s mother, Colleen Spears, were interviewed and given polygraph examinations this week. He said the stepfather, both his male friends and his mother were given polygraphs. He would not comment on the outcomes of those examinations.
    He said Colleen Spears was tested as part of what is routine procedure in such investigations.
    “She has never, nor is she now, under any suspicion whatsoever,” the sheriff said.

    Copyright © 1999-2006 cnhi, inc.
    Globe/T. Rob Brown A sign on the vehicle relays the concerns of Stella residents, family members and friends as they wait outside the home of Colleen Spears on Friday. Connie Moser, of Neosho (facing the camera), organized a candlelight vigil for 9-year-old Rowan Ford after the girl was reported missing this past Saturday. Ford’s body was found Friday down a sinkhole near Powell in McDonald County. ​
  5. Jeez so did the stepfather and his friend do it then?
  6. I was keeping up with this story, and I was just appalled to find out the step-father AND his friend did this. (I know, they have yet to be tried, but they did confess according to one story I read.) I cannot imagine how that poor mother feels... she trusted him to care for her child.

    There is a special place in hell AND prison for men like this.
  7. :crybaby:unbelievable. How desperate and disgusting and sick do you have to be!!
  8. That's only two counties north of me. I'm on the missouri line. It scares the :censor: out of me.
  9. I can only hope both men experience in prison something as close as possible to what that poor girl went through. Animals (not to offend any animal-lovers out there) like this are a waste of oxygen. I hope they don't officially get the death penalty, but instead are tortured and killed by other inmates in the general prison population. In general I don't support the death penalty, but I'd be happy to do the honors with my bare hands in cases like this.
  10. OMG what vile evil men!
  11. Unimaginable the suffering this baby went through. May she rest in peace.
  12. Sad to say, but I am praying drugs were involved. Because I can not fathom that - short of being completely stark raving mad out of his mind on drugs - a man could do this to a child that called him Dad. Or any child, for that matter.
    Bless that poor child and may her soul rest in peace.
  13. Apparently this happens not infrequently in parts of Africa where its believed that AIDs can be cured by having sex with very small children, like infants and toddlers (along with virgins). Often the child dies because the tissue between the vagina and anus is completely torn, causing massive infection (think of how small a 9 month old girl is!).

    I had no idea this kind of sick action would happen in a country not plagued by constant civil war and oppression.
  14. You are correct, this happens quite frequently in the less educated areas of Africa, they believe the evil of AIDS will leave their bodies and go into the child's. If the actual rape doesn't kill them, the disease almost always will. (Lack of proper medication in many of the outlaying villages.)

    But in this case, it's pure lust and they KNEW it was wrong. Men who rape then murder a child are more afraid of getting caught, by having the child tell someone, so they murder the child. Like a previous poster, I would rather like to think drugs were involved and they seriously didn't plan this.

    I'll never understand what this world has become. Pedophiles vocally demand "rights" to children, calling it a sexual orientation, and stuff like this happens as well. I would not want to be the parent of a small child right now. I would be a basketcase worrying every time they stepped out of my sight.