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Greene County deputies still gathering DNA in 2011 double slaying investigation


SPRINGFIELD, Missouri — Investigators are continuing to probe the 2011 deaths of a rural southwest Missouri couple, according to recently released court documents.

Donald and Helen Willingham, both 79, were killed in their home outside Springfield on April 25, 2011. Jose Huckleberry is being held on charges of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths.

A recently unsealed warrant shows a woman called 911 from the Willingham home the morning the couple was killed and told the dispatcher a "young man" was in her house fighting with her husband, The Springfield News Leader reported ( ). The warrant says there was an apparent struggle, the woman screamed and the call was disconnected.

A few minutes later, the Willinghams' neighbor, Craig Hilburn, called 911 to say he saw someone in the driveway of the home, the warrant says. Hilburn tried to chase the man but lost sight of the man, then returned to the residence and found one of the bodies.

When deputies arrived, they located both bodies with multiple stab wounds, the warrant says.

The warrant also shows that investigators with the Greene County Sheriff's Office recently collected DNA evidence last month from a man who was in the area around the time of the stabbings.

Authorities say they are testing the DNA of everyone who was in the area that night to eliminate possible suspects and build their case against Huckleberry.

Information from: Springfield News-Leader,

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