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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

One in custody after body is discovered

Monday, June 19, 2006

(Photo)
Missouri State Water Patrol members Tony Richardson and Jeff Johson prepare their equipment to search for evidence.
SIKESTON -- A Sikeston man is charged with the murder of a Sikeston woman found in a culvert located off North Ingram on Father's Day.

James V. Cullum, 21, of 105 Fifth St., was charged by Scott County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Boyd Sunday with first degree murder and armed criminal action.

At 11:56 a.m. Sunday, the Sikeston Department of Public Safety received a call about a dead body which was discovered by a couple of fishermen.

The body was found protruding from a culvert in a pond which is located behind the house immediately north of the Kingdom Hall on North Ingram Road.

The body appeared to have been in the culvert for a couple weeks, according to authorities. The identity of the victim, a black woman, is known but is being withheld until the next of kin is located and notified. Authorities believe the family members are presently out of state.

(Photo)
James V. Cullum, 21, has been charged with first degree murder and armed criminal action.
The Southeast Missouri Major Case Squad, which is made up of officers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Scott County Sheriff's Office, New Madrid County Sheriff's Office, the Scott and New Madrid county prosecutors' offices, Sikeston DPS and Missouri State Water Patrol, was activated due to the suspicious nature surrounding the discovery of the body.

The case was brought to a successful conclusion Sunday in a little over six hours after the victim was found, according to DPS officials.

During the investigation, Cullum was identified as a person of interest and questioned about events related to the death of the victim.

While being interviewed, Cullum admitted to killing the victim at the location the body was found.

The body is currently in the possession of the Scott County Coroners Office and the investigation is still in progress.

Scott County Coroner Scott Amick would not confirm the cause of death.

"The autopsy is being performed and we're going to wait for that before confirming anything," he said.

Amick also refused at this time to speculate as to how long the victim has been dead, although he did say "it had been (there) for some time."

He predicted autopsy results should be ready sometime today.