Update 9/27/2017: Todd Greathouse was found guilty of murder in the first degree in the murder of Wilanna Dunn in May of 2016.
4:48 PM: Court was resumed. Prosecutors made there opening statement and they are accusing Todd Greathouse of murdering Wilanna Dunn and seeking the judgment of murder in the 1st degree. The defendant had no statement.
2:37 PM: Trial is on recess until 3:15pm, will hear opening statements from both sides when we resume. More details to follow.
2:09 PM: Attorneys in the murder trial of Todd Greathouse are currently choosing the jury.
7/27/2016: Todd Greathouse appeared in court today and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He's now bound over for trial. He's charged with the first degree murder of Willanna Dunn.
Police say Greathouse, Dunn's landlord, went to her home last month and the two got into an argruement. He's accused of strangling her and then dumping her body in an abandoned mine shaft outside of Joplin.
His trial has been scheduled for September 12th.
Update (6/9/16): Greathouse appeared via video arraignment in court today. According to court proceedings, Greathouse plead not guilty to the first degree murder of Willanna Anita Dunn. His next court date is June 29th.
Update (6/3): The autopsy has been completed. The identity of the deceased is Willanna A. Dunn, 61, Joplin and the cause of death is homicide.
Today, at approximately 4:15 PM, Joplin Police Detectives arrested Todd A. Greathouse, 53, Webb City in connection with the homicide of Willanna A. Dunn.
Update: The autopsy has been scheduled for Friday, June 3rd, at 10am at Frontier Forensics in Kansas City, Kansas. The identification of the body will not be confirmed until after the autopsy.
Police are trying to determine if a body found just outside of Joplin yesterday belongs to a missing woman. Joplin police say they've been in meetings nearly all day today. Police say they are moving into a transitional phase of their disappearance investigation, one that involves identifying the body found.
"We had over 50 leads. We've conducted a significant number of interviews, as well. We've put an exhaustive effort into this, as far as allocation of our resources," says Captain Bob Higginbotham with the Joplin Police Department.
Higginbotham says the extensive search for 61-year-old Willanna Anita Dunn began with an officer being at the right place at the right time. An officer, who happened to be in the area of Dunn's home, found her wallet.
"We went to the last address in that wallet, which turned out to be her landlord's, then they expressed concern she was missing," says Higginbotham.
Less than a week after she was last heard from, law enforcement is trying to see if a body found just outside of Joplin is that of Dunn's. Police have still secured the entrance to the 240-acre piece of private land where the body was located. Police say the land owner gave consent to search, but law enforcement still pursued legal rights to investigate the owner's property.
We asked if the land owner was cooperative with police.
"We obtained a search warrant," says Higginbotham.
Joplin detectives and the city's SWAT team, along with the Joplin Fire Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and Four State Search and Rescue helped with the search of this property. The area where the body was found is about three miles from where Dunn lives.
"Her medical conditions did not consist of dementia or anything like that," says Higginbotham. "So we weren't concerned that she lost her way."
Police say, though, Dunn has a heart condition.
According to police, Dunn's family has been completely cooperative with investigators. No arrests have been made. Police won't say if anything in this case looks suspicious, or if investigators are looking for persons of interest.
"I can say the investigation continues," says Higginbotham.
Around the time police alerted the public of Dunn's disappearance, police also said Dunn's vehicle was accounted for. A representative with Freeman Health System says Dunn works for a housekeeping company that serves Freeman Hospital.
Police won't say how they plan on identifying the body found yesterday. We were told by a Jasper County deputy, who was guarding the entrance to the area where the body was found, that a Jasper County law enforcement official lives near that entrance.
KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas