Eldon remains spotlight unsolved cases

Brandi Mathews has been missing since 2006.

Update Jan. 14:

Miller County authorities say Brandi Mathews' boyfriend at the time of her disappearance is now a person of interest in her death investigation.

Her ex-boyfriend, Kelly Simino, 41, is currently in the Miller County Jail, held without bond. He's been there since Thursday Jan. 8, when he was picked up on an outstanding probation and parole warrant. Ironically, the arrest came on the same day Brandi's remains were identified

Simino has not been charged with anything connected to Brandi's death or her dissapearance.

For more information, click on the link below, "Police identify 'person of interest' in Brandi Mathews' case."

Update Jan. 8:

Columbia forensic investigators, using dental records, have positively identified the human skull found Jan. 3 as that of Brandi Mathews, who had been missing since 2006.

For more information, click on the link below, "Skeletal remains identified as missing woman."

Original Story:

It could take weeks before Columbia scientists can make an identification of the skeletal remains found in Eldon over the weekend.

But one resident - who's son initially found the human skull - offered a few clues.

It was under a narrow bridge on Sparks and Miller Road in Eldon where Charles Farley, 80, first saw the skull. "It was laying back there about 10 feet," he said pointing underneath the bridge.

Farley said when he saw the skull it was partially buried - as if it had been there for a while. "Part of it was underneath the gravel," he said.

The skull had teeth and next to it was dark hair - both could offer some clues as to the person's identity. As investigators look at the skull and several bones found nearby, some theories are already being tossed around.

Authorities still haven't solved the case of a 15-year-old Eldon girl who went missing almost 25 years ago. Tammy Sue Rothganger lived just across the street from Eldon High School with her mother and her mother's live-in boyfriend.

Police have long suspected the boyfriend in the girl's disappearance but have never been able to prove anything, or locate Tammy. The boyfriend, Martin Priest, is serving a life sentance in a Kansas prison for an unrelated murder.

Another possible person is 24-year-old Brandi Mathews, who has been missing for two years. She is the only person from Miller County who's currently missing.

Her poster still hangs in one nearby restaurant, leaving many in this small community to wonder which family will find closure in the discovery.

Miller County Sheriff Bill Abbott says as many as half a dozen missing persons cases in mid-Missouri are being reviewed. Several retired law enforcement officers have been called in for the investigation - all familiar with unsolved missing persons cases from the past.