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story.lead_photo.caption Sandy Gallaspie
Suzanne Ponder-Williams
Photo by Submitted photo

A Jefferson City man and woman face multiple charges in connection with the death of the woman's ex-husband in November 2015.

The Moniteau County Prosecutor's Office on Tuesday filed a charge of first-degree murder against Suzanne Ponder-Williams, 47, and Sandy Gallaspie, 58.

Court records show the crime occurred on or around Nov. 24, 2015. The Moniteau County Sheriff's Department listed Jon Williams, of California, as a missing person on that date. He is the ex-husband of Ponder-Williams.

Ponder-Williams and Gallaspie were charged last month with abandonment of a corpse in Cole County after authorities found human remains in the 2700 block of Bess Hill Road.

Although the remains have not been positively identified yet, authorities are "very confident that they are the remains of Jon Williams," Moniteau County Sheriff Tony Wheatley said Tuesday afternoon.

Charging documents filed in Moniteau County Circuit Court claim Ponder-Williams acted with Gallaspie in Jon Williams' death by luring Williams to a remote location where Gallaspie shot him.

This investigation began June 26, when a Cole County inmate asked to speak with a detective, claiming to know where a body was buried and that the victim might have been shot to death before being buried, according to probable cause statements from the Cole County Sheriff's Department and Moniteau County Sheriff's Department.

Members of the two sheriff's departments and the Missouri Highway Patrol went to a residence in the 2700 block of Bess Hill Road on June 27. The property owner allowed authorities to search the property with cadaver dogs, which indicated there were human remains on the property but couldn't give an exact location.

The inmate was taken to the site and directed authorities to a specific area of the property, where a nearly complete human skeleton was uncovered.

The remains were taken to the University of Missouri Medical Examiner's Office for further analysis and identification.

The inmate was interviewed again June 28 and admitted he had assisted in burying the body. The inmate told authorities Gallaspie had personally told him he murdered Jon Williams at the low-water crossing on Mount Hope Road in Moniteau County.

After the murder, the inmate said, he sat in the home of Ponder-Williams and Gallaspie and talked about how and where to dispose of Williams' body. He said Ponder-Williams and Gallaspie were in a relationship at the time.

Ponder-Williams reportedly told the inmate she had lured Williams to the creek under the guise of using methamphetamine. She allegedly drove Gallaspie to the creek, dropped him off, then picked up Williams and dropped him off. Once there, the inmate said, Gallaspie approached the vehicle, opened the door and shot Williams once in the chest.

The inmate said Gallaspie told him he then dragged the body from the car. Later, the inmate said, Gallaspie contacted him to have him assist in disposing of the body on Bess Hill Road. Authorities noted this property was owned by Gallaspie's former boss. The inmate claimed he and Gallaspie had used a tractor to dig the hole, put Williams' body in the hole, then backfilled the hole with dirt to conceal the corpse. Gallaspie's boss told authorities Gallaspie and the inmate were the only ones to have keys to the tractor that was used.

Gallaspie allegedly admitted to killing Williams after being taken into custody Saturday, according to a Cole County Sheriff's Department probable cause statement.

Gallaspie was being held in the Cole County Jail and Ponder-Williams in the Moniteau County Jail as of Tuesday afternoon.

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