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Southwest Missouri cold case solved, suspect deceased

A suspect has been identified in a 1990 cold case death of Shawna Beth Garber.

Read the full press release story from the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office below:

McDonald County, Missouri Detectives have identified a suspect – now deceased, in the October 1990 murder of Shauna Garber.

Shauna was born March 01, 1968, in Iola, Kansas. At 6-years-old she entered foster care, where she remained until she aged out of the foster care system. It was determined through a statement made by her case worker that once Shauna aged out, she went to the Vinita/Claremore, Oklahoma, area to find family.

Detectives were made aware that she was living in the area and being transported to and from work via a work program. It is believed that this is what brought her to McDonald County.

On December 2, 1990, Human remains were found outside of an abandoned farmhouse located on Oscar Talley  Road in McDonald County, Missouri. The McDonald County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol conducted the initial investigation. However, they were unable to identify the female remains or a suspect in her death.

Between 1990, and 2020 many leads were followed regarding missing females, but all subjects were excluded. Detectives continued to work on the case and were told that it may be by the Grace of God that her identity would ever be found. This is how Jane Doe became “Grace Doe”.

However, in March of 2021 with the help of Othram and advancements in technology the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office was able to determine that there was a familial match to DNA that had been extracted from “Grace”. It was learned that “Grace Doe” was in fact Shauna Garber. During the continued investigation, it was learned that Shauna’s legal name is Shauna Harvey. From 2021 to March 2024 the investigation continued.

Detective Lorie Howard and Detective Rhonda Wise have been able to develop a long-standing suspect in the  murder of Shauna Harvey. Through statements, sources, and a witness we are confident that we now know what happened.

It is believed that Talfey Reeves (deceased as of November 15, 2021), picked Shauna up from the Tanglewood/Ginger Blue area of Missouri State Highway 59. Reeves bound her wrists and feet “hog tying” her, and  transported her to an abandoned farmhouse where it is believed that he sexually assaulted her and overdosed her with drugs.

Talfey Reeves was well known by the community and to Law Enforcement, had Reeves still been alive today  charges of First Degree Murder would have been requested from the McDonald County Prosecuting Attorney  Maleia Cheney.

Detectives Howard and Wise’s investigation led them to sitting across from the likes of serial killers Larry Hall and Dennis Rader “BTK” among a few. Throughout hundreds of conversations, interviews, and statements, they found themselves ultimately sitting across from evil to find “Grace”.

While Shauna’s life and death were tragic and for most of her life she struggled to just exist. Shauna was not just a missing person, no one ever is.

The McDonald County Sheriff’s Office would like to take this opportunity to thank the community, our law  enforcement partners, media friends, and everyone who donated endless amounts of resources and energy over the past 30 years to keep her story alive. Without all of the support that we have received we would not have been able to develop Shauna’s story to its conclusion.

We have provided you with the ending, but we would be remiss if we did not thank M. William Phelps for his tireless work on Shauna’s life story on Paper Ghosts the Ozarks podcast.

As of today’s date the case status has been changed from an open murder case to cleared by exception.

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