Callaway County homicide investigation continues

An autopsy will be done on Monday for a 30-year-old Callaway County man who was found dead at his father's house Saturday.

Sheriff Dennis Crane says no further details will be released until that autopsy is complete.

Sheriffs have one suspect in custody, 22-year-old Jake Gastler, who is facing charges of second-degree murder and first-degree assault. Authorities allege that Gastler is responsible for the death of 30-year-old Zachery O'Connor, and for badly assaulting O'Connor's father, Michael O'Connor.

According to neighbors, the O'Connors were generally quiet people who kept to themselves, and the neighborhood hasn't seen an incident like this in over 10 years. The home is located in the 1000 block of Blue Ridge Road, which is off of State Road B east of Auxvasse.

Neighbor Tim Higgenbottom says he and his wife were roused out of bed around 1:30 a.m. Saturday to someone frantically knocking on their door. When Higgenbottom answered the door, he says Gastler frantically told him there had been an altercation next door involving the two O'Connors. He asked if Higgenbottom's wife knew how to perform CPR.

Higgenbottom says he asked his wife to call 911 after he noticed blood on Gastler's face. As Higgenbottom and his wife got dressed, authorities arrived on scene. Sheriffs say although Gastler initially told them that he found the two O'Connor men in the condition they were in, Sheriffs arrested him after they found inconsistancies in his story.

Gastler and his girlfriend live right across the street. She says he is a good, honest man who is always there for her and their daughter. She says as far as she knows Gastler visited the O'Connors that night in order to ask if they could borrow a picnic table for their daughter's first birthday.

Jake Gastler remains incarcerated at the Callaway County Jail on $700,000 bond.

To read more about this investigation, click here.