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Victim Identified in Homicide - KOAM TV 7

Victim Identified in Homicide

Updated:
125 South McConnell Avenue 125 South McConnell Avenue
Yamato restaurant Yamato restaurant
11/13:  Witnesses have given us the name of the victim from the homicide to be Mascidono Lopez a Hispanic/Latino male in his mid to late 20's.  We are still working to confirm the identity of the victim.  We are working with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to assist us with the positive identification. 

11/11:  Charges filed against Leonardo Mendoza -- 1st degree murder and armed criminal action $100,000 cash only bond.

Adan Bautista charged with misdemeanor hindering of prosecution; no bond.

Joplin, MO The preliminary autopsy on the homicide victim found at 125 S. McConnell Ave. has come in and shows the cause of death to be blunt head and neck trauma. The autopsy was conducted at Frontier Forensics in Kansas City.

We are still in the process of trying to locate a next of kin for the deceased victim

(11/10): Two people are in custody as police investigate a homicide in Joplin.  


Joplin police were called yesterday to a home at 125 South McConnell Avenue for a report of "unknown trouble."  They found one man dead inside the home.

One of the suspects, 29-year-old Leonardo Mendoza, today was charged with forgery.  It's unclear if the charge is connected to the homicide investigation.

Though the case has been called a homicide, police will not say how the man died.  An autopsy has been scheduled.

"So we're waiting for the results of that autopsy to come back before we release how the victim was deceased," says Captain Matt Stewart with the Joplin Police Department.

Two suspects were arrested where the crime happened for hindering prosecution and first degree murder.  They worked at Yamato, a Japanese restaurant in Joplin.  The restaurant manager says she doesn't know if the suspects' names given to police are their real names.  A neighbor to the crime scene believes the suspects are illegal immigrants.

"As part of our standard practice, when we do arrest somebody, they're obviously fingerprinted.  Those fingerprints are sent to the FBI to confirm the identity of the persons.  So we'll wait until we get the results back just to make sure they are who they say they are," says Stewart.

The home where the crime took place is owned by Yamato for its workers.  

Nearby residents say they aren't surprised someone was murdered at the home.  There were frequent all-night parties at the property, and sounds of a chainsaw were coming from inside the home.  

Though two suspects have been arrested in this case, police are still asking the public for help.

"Just anything that they may have heard something, saw something that happened there.  Just really any kind of information.  Anytime we're investigating a homicide, we want to make sure that we're looking at every possible angle and everything that could happen," says Stewart.

Police say the suspects and victim were not family but were acquaintances.

The autopsy in Kansas City was scheduled for this morning.  This is the third homicide in Joplin this year.
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