The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 19, 2012

Woman arrested near Neosho in Southeast Missouri cold case

NEOSHO, Mo. — Authorities took a rural Neosho woman into custody this morning on a murder warrant issued in a recently reopened cold case in Southeast Missouri.

Two Butler County investigators accompanied Newton County sheriff’s deputies to the home of Tracy Lynn Rea, a.k.a. Tracy Lynn Austin, 43, at 10783 Norfolk Lane and arrested her on a charge of second-degree murder.

Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland said Rea is wanted in the 1999 killing of Carla Austin, her stepmother. Carla Austin was last seen leaving a bar in Qulin, Mo., southeast of Poplar Bluff, on Aug. 8, 1999. Her remains were found about three months later a couple of miles from the bar.

Rea was booked into the Newton County Jail and then released to the custody of the Butler County investigators, Copeland said. She is being transported back to Southeast Missouri on a $5 million bond.

Copeland said the Butler County sheriff indicated to him that other arrests are anticipated in the reopened cold case.

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