Investigators building murder case in Sedalia homicide

Investigators examine evidence where human remains were found outside Sunday.

The Pettis County Sheriff's Department is continuing a murder investigation in Sedalia after body parts were found outside a trailer rented by 65 year-old Joseph Arbeiter.

Maintenance workers found human remains outside the trailer when they went to clean it out Sunday. Arbeiter is currently facing charges including assault and attempted rape for an incident that happened April 30. Captain Dave Keller of the Pettis County Sheriff's Department said they are building a case against Arbeiter but would not go so far as to name him a suspect. "We're following leads right now, but we're way too early into it to reach any conclusions," Keller said.

Captain Keller said deputies took about half a truckload of evidence from the trailer where Arbeiter lived. Some of the items they took include women's clothing, a stained mattress, stained carpeting, blankets, and bags full of miscellaneous items.

Keller said Arbeiter lived alone and has a history of violence toward women.

According to, Arbeiter was twice convicted of murdering a woman in 1963, when he was 15 years old and living in St. Louis. That conviction was later reversed by the Missouri Supreme Court after the court ruled that his juvenile records should have remained sealed.

So far, deputies have not linked anyone to the crime, although Keller said they are investigating several leads and have interviewed nearly everyone who lives at the trailer park on Goodwill Chapel Road.

Keller said anyone could be a suspect at this point in their investigation. He said once they are finished processing the evidence that was taken out of the trailer, they will have a better idea of what happened. Investigators will send a stained mattress and stained carpeting to a lab to be tested in order to determine if the stains are blood.

The Boone County Medical Examiner's Office will autopsy the remains Wednesday. Keller said his department hopes for preliminary results by the end of the day.

Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Mittelhauser said whoever the link to the crime will be charged with first-degree murder.

"I've been doing this job for 28 years, and we've seen a lot of homicides. But, I've never seen one like this one," Mittelhauser said. "I don't know what hurdles we will face."