Couple identified as suspects

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Springfield couple has been identified in court documents as potentially connected with the murder of a Willard couple that had connections to Monett.

The investigation into the homicide of Rebecca Porter, sister of Monett contractor Jim Hufft, and her husband, Rusty Porter, resulted in no arrests since their disappearance on April 17, 2011. The bodies of the Porters were found in July, 2011, near Protem in Taney County.

Investigators renewed their request for information relating to the case on the one-year anniversary. An apparently unrelated arrest on May 30 resulted in prosecutors filing court documents showing a link.

Tony Friend, 44, and Windy Friend, 31, both of Springfield, were arrested by federal marshals at their home. Charges filed against them include possession of methamphetamine in Greene County Circuit Court and federal weapons charges in U.S. District Court.

A court motion was filed on May 31 by county law enforcement officials requested both suspects be held in custody as "targets" of the investigation into the Porters' murder. Tony Friend reportedly made threats against officers in the investigation.

The Friends remain in custody in the Greene County Jail.

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