Pettis County man confesses to murdering, dismembering victim

The Pettis County Sheriff said 65 year-old Joseph Arbeiter confessed to law enforcement that he killed and dismembered Mandy Black, 35, of Marshall. He now faces charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

Arbeiter could face the death penalty.

Deputies believe she was killed either at the end of last year or the beginning of this year.

Arbeiter was renting the trailer.

According to the probable cause statement, Arbeiter stated he killed the victim and dismembered the body to conceal his crime. Arbeiter told law enforcement he stabbed the victim in the chest and placed the body in a metal box.

"This has been a difficult investigation," said Sheriff Kevin Bond. "Our heart and our prayers go out to Mandy's family, as they deal with this tragic event in their lives as well as the loss of a loved one."

Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Mittlehauser said first-degree murder was the appropriate charge. "First-degree murder means murder that is committed after deliberation, which means cool reflection upon the matter for any period of time, no matter how brief. It is not necessarily premeditated."

Mittlehauser said they still do not know what the motive was.

Sheriff Bond said residents of the mobile home park were extremely helpful with the investigation. "Obviously being a close community like that where people know each other... this was a shocking discovery for them."

Bond said he is worried that there may be more victims.

"We intend to start looking back in a chronological history of locations where he has lived at," Bond said. "Knowing other localities that he was also in, to make contact with those law enforcement agencies to see if they have any unsolved cases."

Arbeiter will be arraigned on the murder charge on Monday. He is currently being held without bail at the Pettis County Jail.