Phelps CountySheriff's Department
UPDATE: The charges on Michael Douglas Billingsley have been amended. He is now charged with Murder 2nd Degree – Felony Murder, Domestic Assault 2nd Degree, and Abandonment of a Corpse. He still has NO BOND!
On August 22, at about 12:44 am, Central Communications was notified of an unresponsive female at a residence in the 19000 Block of Private Drive 6536 near Beulah, Missouri.
Deputies arrived at the residence a short time later and determined that Vanessa Lee Bradfield, age 40, was deceased.
Investigators from the Sheriff’s Department responded, and the death was determined to be suspicious. A person of interest was quickly developed. Deputies, assisted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri Department of Conservation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, began an exhaustive search for Bradfield’s boyfriend, Michael Douglas Billingsley, age 37.
On August 22, at about 9:40 am, deputies arrested Douglas Wayne Billingsley, age 66, of Exline, IA. Douglas Billingsley is the father of Michael Billingsley and was arrested for and later charged with Tampering with Evidence in a Felony Proceeding. He posted a $20,000 bond and was released on August 23, 2022.
On August 22, 2022, at about 4:35 pm, deputies located and arrested Michael Douglas Billingsley near his residence. On August 23, Billingsley was charged by the Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney with Involuntary Manslaughter 1st Degree and Abandonment of a Corpse. He is being held in the Phelps County Jail without bond.
On August 23, 2022, investigators developed new information regarding the death of Vanessa Lee Bradfield. An amended Probable Cause Statement was submitted for Felony Murder, Domestic Assault, and Abandonment of a Corpse. The new charges are expected to be filed on August 24, 2022.
The charges for which Michael and Douglas Billingsley were arrested are merely accusations and are not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented before a court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
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