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What More Can Be Done to Solve the Kent Heitholt Murder?

(Tenth of ten articles about the Kent Heitholt murder with a primary focus on interpreting the physical and other evidence at the crime scene.)

Photo of Kent Heitholt showing his normal belt buckle orientation. Columbia Tribune photo.
Photo of Kent Heitholt, Columbia Tribune photo.

The evaluation of the murder of Kent Heitholt has been taken as far as it can with the available information. Several more things can be done by those in charge of the investigation into the murder of Kent Heitholt.

First, the severed belt buckle and Heitholt’s clothing can be sent to an independent DNA capable laboratory for additional testing. The article on the severed belt buckle gives suggestions on where to look for killer DNA. The examination can also look for microfibers that may have belonged to the killer’s clothing. Heitholt’s clothing can be reexamined for fibers belonging to the killer’s clothing along and also for metal or other particles that may have come off the assault weapon. Tests on any fibers and other small particles could aid in identifying the clothing of the assailant and the assault weapon.

Secondly, the complete police crime scene and the autopsy evidence documentation can be sent to someone capable of performing an overall evaluation to more fully reconstruct the assault and hopefully identify the assault weapon as to what it was and where it likely came from. A close identification of the assault weapon may identify the killer.

A check should be made to account for the notebook computer in Mike Boyd’s possession and also find out if he had possession of a metal clipboard with paper enclosure features at the time of the murder.

Among other things, the overall evaluation should address the circular contusion and laceration markings to the victim’s forehead to ascertain if they had possibly been made by something other than the assault weapon such as cleats from the killer’s sports shoes. An identification of the killer’s shoe model may aid in identifying the killer.

The overall evaluation should also ascertain if more than one assault weapon was likely used.

Along with both of the above suggestions, the State can consider announcing an offer of immunity to the two strangers for any crimes other than the assault and killing of Kent Heitholt.

Finally, the State could consider offering a strongly reduced sentence to the killer for an admission of guilt before the results of the additional testing and evaluation are completed. The spirit of these offers would be to help the Heitholt family gain closure as well as end problems and distress for those under scrutiny in the case that are totally innocent.

You can view the entire ten part series here.

  • Stuart Dong

    Thanks Ron!!! Very fascinating and interesting stuff. Sad that nobody has done this work to date and you have done the COMO PD’s job for them with no agenda or bias.. Hopefully someone with a conscience will be real and reopen this case as the entire world knows this was a corrupt police department and prosecutor who wanted to close a 2 year old unsolved case all too badly. Too bad they had tunnel vision and basically did nothing and didn’t explore any other possibilities when the first person who needed to be investigated couldn’t have been any more obvious and right in front of their face. Lets hope someone in the City of Columbia will serve the people right and uncover the truth. Ryan Ferguson is out, Charles Erickson needs to be freed, and they need to get the killer off of the streets.

    • Kathy Law Huenefeld

      Very well said, Stuart. If the police department would read these observations and even ask Ron for his help, it would show that they are truly interested in finding the real killer of Mr. Heitholt.

    • Lani Statham

      Don’t forget this was the ONLY unsolved murder case in CoMo at the time!

  • Mark Able Jones

    Local media should be running at least one story a month on the Kent Heitholt investigation. The press should be pushing for answers to all of the unanswered questions in this case. The Kent Heithold case needs independent investigators.

    Columbia has a police force and prosecution team that will never admit wrongdoing, even if they found it, and the local newspaper that won’t even consider the possibility that one of its own was involved in the murder (even though each lie he told distances himself from the scene).

    The whole thing just makes Columbia look pathetic.

    • Stuart Dong

      Agreed Mark, totally pathetic. And 48 hours will be shifting to Charles plight for freedom now so they should save themselves maybe a half of a gram of an ounce of the embarrassment that they have already put upon themselves and get to work on investigating this case.

      • Stuart Dong

        and regarding the Columbia Daily Tribune, never got their blatant biased coverage in this case. Was this a simple cover up of a co-worker murdering a co-worker. Why are they so afraid of the truth. They are supposed to be a legitimate news entity. They seem to be as corrupt at Kevin Crane and COMO PD in this case.

  • gina_sue

    I have always wondered why the two strangers have never been found. If they were college students you think when they go back to their dorm or apt they would have blabbed to everyone. Even if they just thought a man fell and hurt himself, it was big news the next day. Surely they would realize they were witnesses. I wonder if somewhere in some box in the columbia police dept in an old file of dimissed tips we might find their names.

    • Stuart Dong

      I agree. Espcially since it was two boys. At least one of them had to have said something at sometime in the last 13 years. Bill Ferguson did a billboard campaign with the composite sketch and 800 tip line back in 2013 and said he was getting good leads, now that Ryan is out not sure if we will ever know or if anything ever came from the billboards.