Denver, Missouri man charged with murder, abandonment of a corpse in death of Grant City woman

Jeremiah Searles Final

A Denver, Missouri man has been charged in Worth County with the felonies of murder—second degree and abandonment of a corpse in the death of a missing Grant City woman found earlier this week.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jeremiah Searles is scheduled for an initial arraignment Monday, September 21st.

Worth County Prosecuting Attorney Janet Wake Larison previously reported the Worth County Sheriff’s Office received a tip of the location of Melissa Lynn Chapman on the evening of Monday, September 14th. A homicide investigation began.

Chapman was scheduled to testify against Searles in Harrison County who was charged in that case with the felonies of kidnapping—facilitating a felony—inflicting injury—terrorizing—first degree, domestic assault—first degree, and abuse or neglect of a child—no sexual contact. He is scheduled for a criminal motion hearing in that case Thursday. A jury trial is scheduled for November 6th.

A probable cause affidavit from Bethany Police Chief Bryan Holloway accused Searles of shoving Chapman multiple times in March, grabbing her by the throat, and slapping her. He reportedly threw her son and held him on the floor after the boy attempted to get Searles to stop hitting the woman.