Dixon man killed Monday; two arrested on suspicion of murder
By: Darrell Todd Maurina
Posted: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 12:02 am
DIXON, Mo. (May 12, 2009) — STORY UPDATED 9:14 a.m., May 13 — Two people are under arrest on suspicion of murdering a Dixon man Monday night, according to Dixon City Marshal Cliffty Yoakum.
David Blankenship, 49, was found dead in his home by his sister around 7 p.m., Yoakum said. Two other Dixon residents, a 17-year-old woman and her 27-year-old boyfriend, have since been arrested in connection with Blankenship’s death.
“The victim’s sister said she spoke very frequently with him by cell phone, and when she couldn’t reach him, she got worried,” Yoakum said. “She has keys to the house, she went over and found the body. She called 911, we got there within just a minute or two, and it was obvious it was a murder scene.”
State troopers reported late Tuesday night that at 12:46 p.m. they had arrested Robert A. Fortner, 27, and Ashley N. Gilbert, 17, both of Dixon, on charges of second-degree murder. Both were taken by troopers to the Pulaski County Jail where they were placed on a 24-hour hold pending filing of charges. Sheriff J.B. King announced Wednesday morning that Fortner and Gilbert are being held in the Pulaski County Jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.
Yoakum said there’s no reason to believe any other victims will be found. The victim knew the two people who have been arrested, and his death appears to be related to a dispute between the three people.
“This was a personal issue and I would want the citizens to know that; definitely they do not need to worry about a serial killer,” Yoakum said. “They are behind bars, they will be charged by the prosecutor and definitely they were the only two who were involved in it.”
An autopsy is underway, Yoakum said, but the medical examiner hasn’t yet released a precise cause of death. The incident involved a beating, however.
“No weapons such as knives, guns, or ball bats were involved,” Yoakum said.
While Dixon sometimes has a reputation as a “tough” town, Monday night’s incident was only the second murder in his 21 years as city marshal, Yoakum said, and he contacted the Missouri State Highway Patrol for assistance.
“I am very thankful for the help of the highway patrol; they have the right equipment and the resources that I don’t have,” Yoakum said. “They can store that evidence and I don’t have that capability. I couldn’t ask for any better help; they’ve been right here with me all the way though this.”