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Thursday, November 25, 2010

18-year-old accused of murdering his grandmother, prosecutors say

From Glenn Rice: Tyler Toomay, 18, allegedly strangled his grandmother — the woman who had raised him — during an argument in her southern Jackson County bedroom earlier this month, prosecutors alleged today.

After investigators dug up Connie Searing’s body in rural Pleasant Hill, the medical examiner documented numerous injuries, including a broken spine, broken ribs and head wounds, authorities said.

Prosecutors charged Toomay today with second-degree murder in the Nov. 6 killing of Searing, 62.

Toomay reported Searing missing Nov. 10, authorities said. On Nov. 13, Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies using dogs located her grave in a field near her home in the 30100 block of East County Line Road.

According to court records:

A Bible rested on top of a gravel pile that was about 6 feet long, 4 feet wide and 3 feet deep. Two sections of pink fabric were visible. As authorities used rakes to remove the gravel, they uncovered a pink blanket. Inside, they found Searing’s battered body, with her feet bound by duct tape.

Toomay told authorities that he had argued with Searing over family matters, and that they had thrown things at each other, including a lamp. She fell and hit her head, he said. He allegedly used a tractor to dig her grave.

Toomay has been in jail since Nov. 14, when authorities arrested him in connection with a Nov. 2 burglary at his grandmother’s house. He allegedly pawned her stolen television for $400 at a Raytown pawn shop about four hours before she called the sheriff’s office to report the burglary.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar would not comment today on what role, if any, the stolen television played in the killing.

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