By Jeff Lehr
Just hours after Timothy A. Elsey allegedly torched his estranged wife’s home in Joplin, killing her pet cats and guinea pig, he sent some seemingly taunting text messages to her.
“The pain has just started,” one message began, according to police.
“Who or what is next? I watched the whole time never ran. R they trackin me yet?”
Detective Trevor Duncan of the Joplin Police Department said Thursday that, as a matter of fact, investigators already were onto the 40-year-old husband as a suspect in the fire at 1:35 p.m. Monday that destroyed his wife’s home.
Adrienne Elsey let police know when she started receiving the text messages, and investigators were with her as others came in on her cell phone Monday night, Duncan said.
“They were all sent that evening, approximately between 4 p.m. and 12 midnight,” the detective said.
But investigators were unable to locate the suspect until about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, when he was spotted walking down Fourth Street near Ewert Park. A chase ensued that ended with Elsey’s apprehension in a ditch in the 500 block of South Kentucky Avenue.
Elsey was charged Thursday by the Jasper County prosecutor’s office with second-degree arson and second-degree burglary. He remains in custody at the Jasper County Jail, with bond set at $25,000.
Firefighters deemed the house fire suspicious from the start. A window in a locked door had been broken, apparently to allow someone to enter the home. There was other evidence that the fire had been set, according to the Joplin police and fire departments.
Adrienne Elsey had locked her home and left for work about 15 minutes before the fire was reported. A probable-cause affidavit alleges that her husband broke the window to get inside, then stacked clothes in a bedroom and set them on fire. His wife’s two cats and a guinea pig died in the fire, according to the affidavit.
<img src="http://www.joplinglobeonline.com/images/zope/extra.gif" border=0>Estranged husband accused of burning wife’s home<font color="#ff0000"> w/ charges and probable-cause affidavit </font>
By Jeff Lehr
- Joplin Metro
Longtime Democrat dies at 81
Sapp, 81, died Thursday. Funeral services were Monday at the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin. A longtime Jasper County Democratic committeewoman and volunteer, Sapp for years was secretary to the county’s central committee.
PART TWO: Joplin City Council report documents continued
As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. Documents are converted for digital viewing.
The amount of documentation we received is extensive, and testimonies are continued here.
PART ONE: Joplin Globe receives copy of investigation named in court order
As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. As documents are converted for digital viewing, they will be uploaded here.
In City Council race, Joplin voters elect two newcomers, three incumbents
Joplin voters rejected two incumbents who voted to fire City Manager Mark Rohr, instead electing two newcomers and returning three incumbents to the City Council who had supported Rohr.
Joplin voters reject all three charter changes
The changes were placed on the ballot by the City Council acting upon recommendations by a Charter Review Commission that met last fall.
Three incumbents returned to Carl Junction posts
Voters in the Carl Junction area on Tuesday decided leadership positions on the Carl Junction School Board and City Council.
Two new faces, one incumbent win Joplin School Board seats
The top three vote-getters for open seats on the board were Debbie Fort, with 4,765 votes; Lynda Banwart, with 4,532 votes; and incumbent Randy Steele, with 3,300 votes, according to complete but unofficial results from Jasper and Newton counties.
Joplin voters reject curbside recycling
City voters in Jasper and Newton counties cast 3,835 "no" votes and 3,466 "yes" votes on the issue, according to complete but unofficial results.
Council votes to waive appeal of court order, release full investigation
The Joplin City Council voted 6-3 Thursday night to waive an appeal of Judge David Mouton's ruling ordering the city to disclose the Rohr report and witness testimony in a controversial council investigation.
UPDATE: Police release name of murder victim; autopsy scheduled
Police have identified the man murdered in his apartment at the Housing Authority of Joplin complex as Jerry D. Loflin.
- More Joplin Metro Headlines
- Longtime Democrat dies at 81