FULTON, Mo. - Fulton police believe they have found the body of Carl DeBrodie in a crate encased in cement. They also believe the man may have been missing much longer than originally reported.
"When Mr. DeBrodie was first reported missing to us as a walk away, we conducted a foot search, a search with drones, a tracking dog from the Highway Patrol," Fulton Police Lt. Bill Ladwig said. "It became pretty apparent by speaking to some other people that were in the area that Mr. DeBrodie was probably missing for longer than just 30 minutes that morning."
Ladwig said detectives' instincts and inconsistences with stories led them to their belief DeBrodie had not wondered from the independent supported-living residence where he resided. DeBrodie had mental deficiencies and other disabilities.
"It was obvious from the beginning that Mr. DeBrodie, who had mental and physical disabilities, the inability to speak, the inability to walk very far... that told us immediately that something wasn’t right because we were not finding him very quickly," Ladwig said.
The Fulton Police Department put together a team of at least a dozen officers from their own deparement, as well as the Callaway County Sheriff's Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol dedicated to focusing solely on this case.
"We put together a team pretty quickly and got to work on this from day one," Ladwig said. "We needed to be his advocate and search for him quickly and put a lot of effort into this. Unfortunately it just didn’t turn out with a happy ending."
From the first day investigating, police said they received multiple leads and tips on where DeBrodie may be. One of those leads led them to a storage facility in Fulton. Police would ultimately find DeBrodie's body in one of the units encased in cement.
"Information was received from someone who seemed credible to us that we would find evidence in a storage unit in a particular location," Ladwig said. "There were several search warrants that were served at that location leading to the discovery of the crate that Mr. DaBrodie’s body was in."
Ladwig described the crate as wooden and appeared to have been handmade. He said the storage facility does not have surveillance cameras set up.
An autopsy on the body has been completed but detectives are still waiting on test results.
"Due to the complex nature of the case and the nature of the information we would like to have, there are some tests that are just going to take longer and we do not have all of those results back," Ladwig said.
Since the beginning of the investigation, investigators have received more than 150 tips on this case.
"Sometimes you have to go back and do multiple interviews and one lead may lead to three or four other leads almost immediately," Ladwig said. "So there is a lot of work to be done to make sure it’s thorough and complete and we can resolve this successfully.
"There are a lot of questions that we want to make sure we can answer with certainty and without any doubt to make sure that we know exactly what happened with Mr. DeBrodie so we can have justice in this case," Ladwig said.
Police do not believe there is someone targeting people in the Fulton community and don't believe anyone should be afraid.
"There is nobody out there that anyone should be concerned about and there is no other person we feel would be in danger," Ladwig said. "But we are going to keep working on this until it is successfully completed."
Police have interviewed dozens of people in connection to this case but said there is no one in custody at this point.
Fulton police also said the current owners of the home, Finck & Associates, had nothing to do with DeBrodie's disappearance and have fully cooperated with the investigation.