Heroin deal gone bad possibly one factor in recent Pasco murder near Miller

Steve Chapman

A dispute over a minor heroin deal may have played a part in the Aug. 16 murder of Sarah Pasco and the attempted murder of a second woman, according to an article published in the Joplin Globe on Wed., Aug. 26.
The article cited Brad DeLay, Lawrence County sheriff, as stating the dispute was between the surviving victim, another woman, and Gary Hunter, who allegedly killed Pasco and shot the other victim.
“It basically had to do with nonpayment on narcotics, getting ripped off on a buy,” DeLay was quoted as saying in the article.
According to the article, Pasco is not believed to have been part of the transaction, but was in the surviving woman’s truck at the time Hunter allegedly entered it. According to a probable cause statement in the case, at that point, he put a gun to Pasco’s head and forced the other woman to drive to Cynthia Knapp’s, where both women were reportedly forced to dig their own graves before being driven to a well near Miller where Pasco was killed and the other woman was shot.
DeLay declined to say what exactly happened during the reported dispute, stating the incident was still being looked into. He did say the deal was only one factor leading to Pasco’s murder.
“I cannot give specifics on this at this time because it is still an open investigation,” DeLay said. “It was not the only reason for the incident; it was just one of the contributing factors.”
Before Pasco was shot, Hunter allegedly told her, “You can blame Haley for this.” DeLay said the sheriff’s office has not been able to speak to “Haley” yet.
“We know who the other person is, however, she is currently ‘in hiding,’ and we have not been able to locate her for questioning,” he said.
The surviving victim, DeLay said, is now out of the hospital. He declined to say whether charges would be filed against her regarding the alleged heroin deal.
“Charges will be up to the prosecutor,” he said.
DeLay also said the sheriff’s office is still vigorously examining the case, but it will be a considerable amount of time before their investigation is complete.
“This is still a very active investigation,” he said. “It will take some time to sort the entire case out; still a few unanswered questions. Detectives are going through evidence, still doing follow up … so it may be some time before we get the complete story.”


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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