The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Joplin Metro

April 19, 2008

Joplin murder-suicide tied to cold case in eastern Missouri

By Jeff Lehr

Jimmy Hopkins may have taken more than his second wife with him to the grave.

Hopkins, 35, shot and killed his wife, Anna, 30, and then put a bullet in his own head the night of April 12 inside his home at 2125 S. Grand Ave. in Joplin.

The apparent murder-suicide remains under investigation, and Joplin police have yet to disclose what pressures may have caused Hopkins to seek such a drastic recourse, although some people who knew the family have suggested Anna was going to leave him.

The couple left behind two young children in common and he left three teenagers by his first wife.

In Union, Mo., about 50 miles west of St. Louis, Jimmy Hopkins’ death leaves a hole of another sort. A well-worn hole in the heart of the mother of a 14-year-old girl, Jessica A. Kinsey, who disappeared in 1995 and remains to this day a suspected victim of foul play at the hands of Hopkins.

“I would hate to think that he was the only person who knows where we can find Jessica,” Lt. Kyle Ketcher, of the Union Police Department, told the Globe this week.

Ketcher is the third lead investigator from the Union Police Department to have worked the missing-persons case, taking it over almost four years ago.

“If he shared the truth with someone — whether it is that she is alive or she is dead — it would be wonderful if that person would come forward,” he said. “I would love to bring closure to her mother.”

Christmas loss

Jessica’s mother, Mary Klein, fears she now may never get the answers she has been denied all these years.

“I think Jimmy Hopkins is the only person who knew what happened to my daughter, and he’s the only person who knew where he buried the body,” Klein told the Globe in a telephone interview this week.

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Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is supporting an August ballot measure that would insert the right to farm into the state constitution. The governor is leaning toward opposing it. Do you support the Freedom to Farm amendment?

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