The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

December 10, 2013

Carthage man’s death deemed suspicious

CARTHAGE, Mo. — An 87-year-old man whose body was discovered inside his home Monday night may have been a victim of foul play, according to Carthage police.

A neighbor checking on the well-being of Raymond R. Ritchhart made the discovery and called 911 at 6:04 p.m. The neighbor thought Ritchhart might have fallen.

Emergency medical technicians and police officers responding to 1237 Douglas Court apparently found reason to believe otherwise. Police said Tuesday that Ritchhart had “died under suspicious circumstances.”

The Tri-State Major Case Squad was activated for the investigation, and the Jasper County coroner’s office ordered an autopsy conducted at Frontier Forensics in Kansas City, Kan. But, by late Tuesday, investigators had yet to reveal how Ritchhart had died.

“In the next 24 hours or so, I think we’re going to have a clearer picture of what’s going on here,” Carthage police Chief Greg Dagnan said about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Dagnan said investigators have their suspicions. But until they are able to confirm them, it would not be prudent to say what they are, he said.

Ritchhart, a retired farmer and World War II veteran, was “liked by everybody” on the street where he lived, and his neighbors were in the habit of checking on him, the police chief said.

His son, Denny Ritchhart, who farms near Jasper, told the Globe that he became concerned when he called his father’s home repeatedly on Monday and no one answered. He said his dad had recently undergone some surgeries and was still recuperating, but was able to get out and about on his own.

Raymond Ritchhart is survived by his wife, Margaret “Marnie” Ritchhart, who lives in a nursing home in Carthage.

“The highlights of his life were going to see Mom and going to the (Can Do Senior Center) to see his friends,” the son said.

His father served in the Army and saw action in the Philippines during World War II, and farmed all his life near Jasper. He and his wife had three children, one of whom preceded them in death.

“We’re all in shock,” Denny Ritchhart said of surviving family members.


DENNY RITCHHART said funeral arrangements for his father are being handled by Weng Funeral Chapel in Jasper.

Text Only
Crime & Courts
Local News

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday that a tax cut approved by the Legislature could have a “cataclysmic” effect on state revenues to the tune of $4.8 billion. House Majority Leader John Diehl calls that “absurd.” Who do you believe?

A. Nixon
B. Diehl
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
NDN Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security