Missouri man faces murder charge in Normal teen death

Local News

MOREHOUSE, MO. (WMBD/KFVS) — A Missouri man is facing a murder charge for the death of 18-year-old Haley Decker.

CBS affiliate KFVS reports James A. Merritt, 32, of Morehouse Missouri was arrested and charged on April 16 for sex trafficking. He was officially charged Monday with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and tampering with physical evidence.

He remains in custody at the Mississippi County Detention Center with no bond.

Decker was reported missing in Normal on Jan. 22. She was found dead March 26 in a suitcase in a mushroom field in Ullin, Illinois. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma.

Family members said Decker moved from Normal to southeast Missouri earlier this year.

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