A trucker and his son told investigators they tortured and killed a 20-year-old Ohio man in the trucker's basement with the help of several other people, prosecutors said in a court filing Wednesday seeking first-degree murder and other charges against the men.
Authorities have been holding 38-year-old Chester Harvey Jr., of Laddonia, and 19-year-old Chad Michael Harvey, of Eolia, on one count each of abandonment of a corpse since shortly after finding the body of James William Boyd McNeely in the trailer of Harvey's semi.
Audrain County Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Shellabarger declined to comment Wednesday about a possible motive for the killing, where in Ohio the victim was from or how the defendants knew the victim.
But in a court filing last week, authorities said a tipster told investigators that Chester Harvey killed a man, later identified as McNeely, whom he picked up in his truck somewhere in California. The tipster said Chester Harvey was keeping the man's body in his rig's trailer while he figured out how to dispose of it. The tip led investigators to the body.
In their court filing Wednesday, prosecutors said three other men charged with kidnapping in the case _ Robert Nicholas Allen, 52, Jackie Don Moss, 44, and Darrill Kirtley Lynn, 45 _ took McNeely from Chester Harvey's home to a home in Farber and kept him there.
Prosecutors said the Harveys retrieved McNeely and brought him back to Chester Harvey's home on Dec. 17, where they restrained him on a mattress in the basement. They said Chad Harvey, who was armed with a shotgun, and others stayed in the basement and watched McNeely to ensure he wouldn't escape.
Prosecutors said both father and son told investigators that throughout that night, McNeely was kicked, hit and threatened with death.
They said the father and son told authorities that Chester Harvey suffocated McNeely with a trash bag while Chad Harvey and others in the basement wrapped wire around McNeely's throat, according to the probable cause statement.
Prosecutors did not identify who else they believe was in the basement and took part in the killing.
In addition to the charges pertaining to McNeely's slaying, Chester Harvey has been charged with one count of kidnapping after prosecutors say he held his wife and several children hostage, including a 9-year-old son who is on dialysis and in a wheelchair.
Chester Harvey's attorney, Justin Carver, did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment. Chad Harvey has not retained an attorney.
Allen, Moss and Lynn were being held on one count each of kidnapping in Audrain County Jail on $50,000 bond. Shellabarger, the prosecutor, said he did not know if any of them had attorneys, and no attorneys were listed for them in online court records.