Butler authorities investigate death of Poplar Bluff man

Friday, December 21, 2001

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- An autopsy was planned Thursday to determine what caused the death of a Poplar Bluff man on Wednesday.

Butler County assistant coroner Bruce Goin said Randy E. Waltman, 38, was shot multiple times with a handgun and had wounds to his head and body.

Goin said he was confident of the two wounds and estimated the time of death to be between 3 p.m., which was when Waltman got off from work, and 5:30 p.m., which is when the Butler County Sheriff's Department received the call from a citizen who found Waltman's body.

The time of death was pretty close to the time authorities received the call, Goin said.

Butler County Sheriff Bill Heaton said a citizen walking to get his paper called the department after finding the body.

The citizen "watches over the area for the property owner for people dumping trash down County Road 555," Heaton said.

The citizen spotted a white car sitting on the property and approached it from a wooded area to get the car's license number, but instead of finding someone dumping trash, Heaton said, the citizen found a body lying beside the vehicle.

When sheriff's deputies arrived, they found the body lying on its back with wounds that looked to be from a large-caliber pistol, Heaton said.

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