Thirteen years to the day after a woman went missing from her Columbia apartment, her husband on Sunday walked into a small town Wisconsin police station and allegedly admitted to causing her death.
Court records show 38-year-old Keith Alan Comfort was charged with second-degree murder Monday in Boone County in the death of his then-wife Megan Nicole Shultz. A warrant was issued for his arrest with a $1 million cash-only bond and Columbia Police detectives on Monday were traveling to Wisconsin to meet with him.
Columbia Assistant Police Chief Jeremiah Hunter said the department has informed Shultz’s family a suspect is in custody. He said for years the department worked leads in the case as they become available, but were not able to make an arrest until last night.
“As far as the police department is concerned, we are extremely happy about bringing closure to the family," Hunter said. "There are still a lot of pieces we have to put together, and hopefully they will be able to do that for us. As far as the case being open and active all these years on occasion information would come in and when it came to us detectives would follow up, but obviously led to an arrest until last night."
Shultz was 24 when she was last seen Aug. 4, 2006, leaving her apartment in the 1700 block of Amelia Street. Comfort at the time told police he and Shultz had an argument and she left. Three weeks later he filed for divorce, later remarried and moved to Wisconsin with his new wife.
Authorities for those 13 years have worked untold leads and traversed mid-Missouri to no avail until Sunday, when officer Julie Ray got a message to call the Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, police department, according to a probable case statement she filed in the case.
Ray contacted Officer Karl Springhorn, who told her that Comfort walked into the station Sunday in Lake Geneva and requested to speak to an officer about a mental health issue.
According to the affidavit, Comfort told police that on the day he killed her, Shultz called him to say she ripped someone off in a drug deal. He told police that when he arrived home she was allegedly frantic, yelling and swinging her arms at him, so he took her to the ground and strangled her, according to the affidavit.
When he realized she wasn’t breathing, he placed her body in a black garbage bag and placed the bag in the shared dumpster behind her apartment complex.