JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Leadington (Missouri) Police Department announce the discovery of human remains, identified as Melinda Louise Wilkinson, 32, of Leadington, Missouri, in a remote area of Shannon County.
Wilkinson’s family reported her missing on May 7, 2023, and the Leadington Police Department requested the assistance of the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control Troop C Criminal Investigative Unit in the search.
During the course of the investigation into Wilkinson’s whereabouts, investigators learned she may be in the Shannon County area.
Thus, members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control Troop G Criminal Investigative Unit joined the investigation.
On May 30, 2023, Wilkinson’s abandoned vehicle was located at the Rocky Falls area of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways National Park in Shannon County.
Members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Leadington Police Department, Federal Park Services, Shannon County Sheriff’s Office, and the Archway Dog Rescue Team conducted an extensive search of the area, which spanned several days.
On June 2, 2023, the search team reported the discovery of Wilkinson’s body, located in a remote area adjacent to the National Park grounds. The circumstances surrounding Wilkinson’s death are still under investigation; however, no foul play is suspected.