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(Alton) – An Alton resident has been charged with 1st Degree Murder after allegedly murdering his neighbor with a rock and dismembering her body.

A press release from Sheriff George Underwood and the Oregon County Sheriff’s Department sent to Ozark Radio News late Thursday says that 47-year-old Guy Varnell was arrested by the Oregon County Sheriff’s Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol after the sheriff’s department was contacted February 29 and told of a murder. The caller stated Varnell had told him that he killed his neighbor, identified as 51-year-old Narda E. Pranke of Alton.

Deputies first searched Pranke’s residence but was unable to locate her. After talking with the reporting party, deputies were pointed to a shed on Varnell’s property, where the reporting party said Varnell had told him that the body was stored. Deputies found and searched the shed, where they found plastic bags that contained body parts and clothing. Pranke’s torso was later found in some brush on her property.

The report says that after being arrested, Varnell allegedly admitted to striking Pranke in the head with a rock multiple times around February 25 or 26, and that he left her body on the ground for several days before returning to dismember her February 29. The report says that the injuries to Pranke’s body matched Varnell’s statements.

Varnell also reportedly admitted that he returned to Pranke’s property a few days after the murder and stole a Ruger Mark II pistol while he searched through her property, and pointed deputies to some woods near his home where the pistol was hidden.

Theft charges may be filed against Varnell in the next few days.

Ozark Radio News was told by representatives of the Oregon County Sheriff’s Department that investigators were on-scene investigating Thursday morning, and were unable to give comment at that time.

Sheriff Underwood thanks the Missouri State Highway Patrol for their assistance in the investigation.

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