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Friday, May 6, 2016

Family of Porter couple awaits word on autopsy

Monday, July 25, 2011

The family of Rebecca Porter is waiting today for a report on the autopsy being conducted in Springfield. Bodies believed to be Porter and her husband, Rusty Porter, were found by police on Thursday near Protem in Taney County.

The Porters disappeared from the rural Willard home on April 17. According to Monett contractor Jim Hufft, brother of Rebecca Porter, the family is so certain that the bodies belong to the couple that they took down all the fliers posted in Monett and surrounding communities.

Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott and Taney County Sheriff Jimmie Russell announced on Friday that the bodies had been found on Thursday morning in a remote area where officers had been searching for the past month. Hufft said the site was a mile and a half from the Arkansas border and two miles from the nearest building or road.

The autopsy today is expected to confirm the identity of the bodies and determine a cause of death. The sheriffs said the age of the bodies is consistent with the time the couple disappeared.

Rebecca Porter's family first had notification of the discovery on Thursday evening, prior to the public announcement on Friday afternoon. Hufft said family members got together both Saturday and Sunday to discuss the situation. Around 50 gathered yesterday at the home of the sister who lives in Granby.

The Porters were found missing from their home after Rebecca Porter failed to arrive at work at Fantastic Caverns in Springfield on April 18. The family home was unlocked, the lights were on and the security system had been disabled. The home reported had a strong smell of bleach in it.

Hufft said family members discussed funeral plans but authorities had told them the bodies may not be released from the autopsy for two to eight weeks. The family has ruled out having a funeral for Rebecca Porter in Willard.

Investigators have indicated significant evidence was found along with the bodies. No specifics were being released. Hufft said the family is particularly interested in learning more about the tip that led officers to the vicinity, sensing the tipster had inside information on the case.

"It's a bad deal," Hufft said.

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