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'Person of interest' named in Greene County home invasion case

A man who crashed a stolen car likely broke into the home of an elderly couple near Bois D'Arc early Friday.

January 28, 2012|by Mike Landis and Ashley Reynolds, KY3 News | newsalerts@ky3.com
  • A car stolen from an elderly couple from Bois D'Arc early Friday turned up in northeast Springfield on Friday afternoon.
A car stolen from an elderly couple from Bois D'Arc early Friday turned up in northeast Springfield on Friday afternoon.

BOIS D’ARC, Mo. -- An attacker was still on the loose Saturday morning.  The Greene County Sheriff's Department named Branden M. Slavens, 28, as a "person of interest" in the case, which in this case means he isn't charged but likely is the attacker (see news release at the end of this report).  Law enforcement officers consider him to be armed and dangerous.  They believe he seriously injured an elderly couple in their home in the middle of the night, and then stole their white 2001 Chevy Impala. 

That car turned up late Friday afternoon near North Glenstone Avenue (Highway H) at Valley Water Mill Road in northeast Springfield.  Near the car, Sheriff Jim Arnott said, officers found clothing that makes them think the man who stole the car may have changed clothes.

The assault happened about 3 a.m. Friday at the couple’s farm house south of Bois D’Arc.  It was the end of a long chain of events that began in Springfield about 11 p.m. Thursday.

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“I always come by in the morning and drop my dog off, and I saw the door kicked in,” said Justin Mauss, a grandson of the victims.

Mauss wasn't prepared for what he found at his grandparent’s house.

“I guess they heard me and yelled, ‘Help Justin!’” he said.

Mauss’ grandma and grandpa were attacked by someone with an axe handle and stuffed into a closet hours before he arrived.

“And when I got in there, they started hollering and I went in and helped them,” he said. 

“They are in serious but stable condition.  Their injuries are not believed to be life threatening,” said Greene County Sheriff’s Dept. Maj. Phil Corcoran.

Connecting the dots, investigators found a crime scene spread across through this normally quiet corner of Greene County.

It all began with a pursuit in Springfield near the intersection of Chestnut Expressway at College Street and Scenic Avenue about 11 p.m. Thursday.  Officers chased a car believed to be stolen and driven by a drunken driver.

That chase headed toward Bois D’Arc and ended with a crash on Highway T, after the driver lost control on a curve and slammed into a house.  The driver fled on foot.

Officers believe the guy then took off on foot, over the hill, where he tried breaking into a couple of other homes.  Finally, he broke into home of Mauss’ grandparents on Missouri 266 and then assaulted them.

“The suspect is obviously very dangerous, a very violent individual,” said Corcoran.

“They are the nicest people.  They help out anybody.  They'd give you the shirt off their back if they needed it,” said Mauss.

After restraining the couple, the culprit stole their rifle and car, and no one has reported seeing him since then.

“If a person does this once, they are going to do it again,” said Corcoran.

“There is some sadness, then there is anger and kind of a combination of the two.  It is hard to describe,” said Mauss.

Mauss’ grandparents were in a hospital with broken bones on Friday.  The burglar beat his grandfather with the blunt end of an ax or the ax handle.

The residents inside the house on Highway T where the stolen car crashed were shaken up but are okay.

Law enforcement officers described the man for whom they’re looking as white and in his 30s.  When he fled, he was wearing camouflage clothing.

Police later broadcast a name of the man they suspect.  If he's the one, he was born in 1983, has lived in Springfield, and has a long history of petty crimes, mostly driving offenses in Greene County and other counties.   He pleaded guilty in December in Greene County for driving with a revoked license and not having automobile insurance, both misdemeanors, and is scheduled to be sentenced in March.

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Edited news release from the Greene County Sheriff sent out Friday night.

Person of Interest

On Friday about 3 a.m., an elderly couple who live at 9770 W. Missouri 266 near Bois D'Arc had a lone man break into their home.  The couple was assaulted and restrained inside the home.  The intruder stole their white 2001 four-door door Chevy Impala, MO LIC YE5-K0K along with a .22-caliber rifle from the residence.  The attacker may have received injuries during the assault on the couple.

The couple are in a hospital with serious injuries.  The injuries do not appear to be life threatening.

Brandon M. Slavens, 28, is considered a person of interest in this investigation.  Slavens is white and has a tattoo of the word “Summer” on his neck.

Slavens may be in the company of Jessica Harris, 27, who also is white.   They have been known to drive a brown or tan SUV similar to an Oldsmobile Bravada.

The Greene County Sheriff requests if you know the location of either person, please call 911.

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