by Emily Rittman, Kuba Wuls, KSPR News
11:01 AM CDT, April 25, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - One year later, the Greene County sheriff says an unsolved double homicide remains under investigation. Last year on April 25, someone stabbed Helen and Don Willingham to death inside their home at 2919 W. Swan Drive. Around 5:44 that morning Helen Willingham, 79, called 911 to report that a male intruder was inside her home assaulting her husband, Donald Willingham. He was also 79-years-old. On Wednesday, Sheriff Jim Arnott held a news conference to update the public on the murder investigation.
The dispatcher said a disturbance could be heard in the background before the line was disconnected. A neighbor then called 911 to report that he had chased a suspicious person from the Willingham residence before he returned to discover the body of Donald Willingham inside his home. Deputies arrived to discover both Donald and Helen Willingham dead. Autopsies revealed that both had died from multiple stab wounds. The neighbor described the fleeing suspect as a white or Hispanic male with a dark complexion who was clean-shaven and had a slim to medium build. The neighbor says the man was dressed in a black or a dark pull over sweatshirt or “hoodie” with black or dark baggy pants and black boots or shoes.
In July of last year, the sheriff held a news conference pleading for people with information to come forward. At that time, he told reporters two persons of interest were in custody facing unrelated charges. Since that time, those persons of interest have been released from custody.
The Sheriff's Office urges anyone with information about this crime to call 911, the Greene County Sheriff's Office at 417-868-4040, or Crime Stoppers at 417-869-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous. A $20,000 reward is available for tips leading to an arrest and conviction.
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