MANSFIELD, Mo. -- A man from Mansfield is charged with killing his girlfriend at her home on Monday. Michael Diehle, 33, is charged with second-degree murder, armed criminal action, abandonment of a corpse, and tampering with physical evidence. Investigators think Diehle shot and/or beat Jill Adamson, 33.
Police went to 505 Jordan Street on Tuesday morning about 8:30 after getting a call that Diehle might have harmed Adamson, who lived there. When officers knocked on the door, Diehle answered the door and said Adamson had left the home during the night while she was intoxicated.
Officers walked through the home to look for Adamson and noticed what appeared to be blood on walls and floors, according to the probable cause statement against Diehle. They also saw what appeared to be blood in a 55-gallon plastic drum in the garage and a spot on the garage floor that looked like someone had recently tried to clean it, as well as cleaning supplies.
The sheriff and a Mansfield police officer arrested Diehle on some pending warrants and found a .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun in his front right shorts pocket. Diehle denied he knew where Adamson was. He said officers might find her in a nearby apartment complex.
After getting a search warrant on Tuesday afternoon, officers found Adamson’s body.
“It appeared Adamson’s body had been dragged out of the residence, through the yard, back into the residence and hidden in a cellar. It also appeared someone had attempted to place her body in the fifty-five gallon drum located in the garage,” the probable cause statement says.
A preliminary autopsy shows Adamson was shot in the head by a small caliber, possibly a .22-caliber, firearm. Investigators also say her body shows signs of “multiple injuries consistent with her being in an altercation at or near the time of her death. Based on a four-hour telephone call that Diehle made to his father in Michigan, the time of death likely was sometime Monday, the probable cause statement says.
Diehle was arrested on Tuesday and charged with unlawful use of a weapon so that he could be kept in jail. After the Wright County prosecuting attorney filed charges on Wednesday, a judge set Diehle’s bond at $1 million. He was in the county jail in Hartville on Wednesday.
If Diehle is convicted of second-degree murder, Diehle could get a 10- to 30-year (life) prison sentence, plus at least three more years for armed criminal action, four more years for abandonment of a corpse, and four more years for tampering with physical evidence.