Man accused of abandoning body caught in Joplin

John Ford

One of two suspects accused of abandoning a corpse near Grand Falls in Joplin nearly two weeks ago was captured Monday morning.

Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland said Michael J. Osborne, 22, was taken into custody at about 9 a.m. Monday at the Rocky Slope Trailer Park, located just off of Glendale Road in south Joplin. Copeland said Osborne was taken into custody without incident.

“We received a lot of tips and information from people as a result of the local media,” said Copeland. “We checked out all of them, and one of them was very positive this morning: He was exactly where the caller said he would be.”

On April 2, the body of Michael H. Kordis, 52, was discovered in the cab of a pickup that had been set on fire at Grand Falls in northern Newton County. Two fishermen, a father and son, made the discovery after noticing the late model GMC truck had been partially burned.

In a previous interview, Copeland said an accelerant had been poured into the cab of the truck, and the vehicle was then set on fire. However, since the doors and windows on the truck were shut, the fire burnt itself out.

A preliminary autopsy report indicated there were no physical signs as to what caused Kordis’ death. In a previous interview with the Neosho Daily News, Copeland said no evidence of gunshot or knife wounds or blunt force trauma was evident on the body.

Toxicology reports are still pending.

License plates on the truck came back to a Diamond address, but the registration did not match the pickup’s description.

Deputies are still seeking information on a second suspect, 23-year-old Tasha B. Brownlee, who is described as being 5-foot-2 and weighing 142 pounds. If anyone has information on this suspect, they should contact the sheriff’s office at 451-8300.

Both have been charged with abandoning a corpse, a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in state prison. Court dates are still pending.

Neosho Daily News