Man charged in Boone Co. homicide appears in court

Crews searching pond for leads in homicide investigation

BOONE COUNTY, Mo. - Patrick Curl appeared in court Monday and waived his formal arraignment, pleaded not guilty, and asked for a bond investigation.

On July 30, Boone County deputies arrested two suspects, Patrick Curl and Jennifer Freeman, they believe are involved in the disappearance of a Harrisburg man who has been missing for nearly three years.

Charles Bell, 34, was reported missing in September 2011.

Investigators are now calling the case a homicide investigation.

Detectives said the homicide happened inside Bell's home. 

Boone County sheriff's deputies have drained and are searching a pond off of Route EE in rural Boone County for any evidence. Boone County Detective Tom O'Sullivan told ABC 17 News investigators have been at the pond since July 29. O'Sullivan confirmed investigators will be out there until they find something.

Freeman, 33, and Curl, 43 were arrested Wednesday on charges of hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence.

Both Freeman and Curl are being held in the Boone County Jail on a $300,000 cash only bond. Both are not allowed to have contact with each other or with the family of Charlie Bell.

Freeman, Curl, and Bell were all acquaintances prior to Bell's disappearance.

Court documents allege Curl, along with two others, hid Bell's license plates on his motorcycle. Bell was last seen driving his motorcycle outside of Harrisburg, Bell's last listed address.

Freeman was questioned by law enforcement Monday, and according to a probable cause statement, Freeman admitted she helped dispose of a body and clean up the crime scene.

The court documents allege Freeman hid details relating to the homicide to protect others involved from going to prison. Freeman lied to investigators multiple times over the course of the investigation according to court documents.

The statement gives cause for charges by stating Freeman would likely not appear to court for criminal summons due to her history of lying and avoiding questioning, and would be a danger to the community because "she witnessed a murder and didn't report it, and destroyed evidence of a crime."

Search warrant documents show detectives took several swabs of blood from the garage of where Charles Bell last lived.

Also according to court documents Freeman admitted to watching Bell get shot.

Curl's preliminary hearing is on Aug. 26 at 2 p.m., and Freeman's hearing is on Sept 2. 

Stay with ABC 17 News and for updates as they become available.

comments powered by Disqus

ABC 17 News Stormtrack

  • Thursday, May 25 Evening Weather Video

Top Videos