BEHIND THE SEARCH: How investigators found Megan Shultz's likely remains

1 month 3 weeks 4 days ago Thursday, September 19 2019 Sep 19, 2019 Thursday, September 19, 2019 6:36:00 PM CDT September 19, 2019 in News
By: Spencer Humphrey, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - For investigators, finding Megan Shultz's likely remains in the Columbia landfill after only eight days of searching was like finding a needle in a haystack.

"13 years is a long time," Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones said. "The remains are in poor condition. They're heavily decomposed."

Jones said the human remains were found around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Shultz was reported missing in Columbia in August 2006. According to investigators, Shultz's ex-husband Keith Comfort went to police in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and made statements implicating himself in Megan's death.

A group of 17 city workers -- most with the utility department, one from the sewer department -- helped in the search for Megan's remains. They spent a total of eight days searching through 650 cubic yards of trash.

"The greatest challenge we had was the temperature and trying to keep people from getting overheated," Columbia Utility Department Assistant Director David Sorrell said. "We ran into sharp objects and some generally unpleasant materials."

He said they even came across hazardous materials.

"There was one item of asbestos we had to address," Sorrell said.

The search group initially began digging through a 100-acre area where they believed garbage would have been dumped in 2006. They narrowed that down to 14 acres, and eventually three acres when they found the remains.

Sorrell said searchers were in the process of digging 'test pits' to sample material from the time Megan disappeared when they found the remains Wednesday.

"We were trying to locate boundaries of the area where we might do a larger excavation," Sorrell said. "We found it [Wednesday] as we were looking for a southern boundary."

Megan's mother, Debra Shultz, said she was not expecting such fast results.

"I'm just amazed they were able to do it so quickly," Shultz said.

"I have been through the ringer in the last 13 years, so this is just a prayer answered."

She said she hopes now there will be enough evidence to convict Keith Comfort of first degree murder.

More News

Grid
List
SWEET SPRINGS- As the I-70 Community Hospital sits dormant on the side of the interstate, the Sweet Springs Ambulance District... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 5:12:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - When you open the envelope from Boone County Assessor Tom Schauwecker's office , expect the numbers to... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 5:00:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members will meet at Columbia City Hall to discuss a possible new affordable housing development Wednesday at... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 4:42:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
LAKE OZARK - The bodies of a Lake Ozark couple were sent to Southwest Missouri Forensics in Springfield for autopsy... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 4:00:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Federal transportation safety investigators criticized the U.S. Coast Guard Wednesday for ignoring suggestions over... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 3:09:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU — A very special puppy from southeast Missouri is going viral for being a ‘unicorn.’ Narwhal has... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 3:00:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - After the snow settled on Monday, icy conditions took over the roadways and sidewalks. The ice covered... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 2:38:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Mobility Worldwide broke ground on their new manufacturing facility in front of a small crowd on Wednesday morning.... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 2:21:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Vaping has continued to be a rising issue in the United States and Columbia. According to the Centers... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 2:07:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — NASA says a meteor seen streaking through the sky behind the Gateway Arch in St. Louis... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 1:21:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in Continuous News
COLE COUNTY - A boil advisory has been issued for residents in Hickory Hill, just west of California, Mo. ... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 12:09:00 PM CST November 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County residents can help choose the design for the hottest accessory at the polls this year... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 10:06:02 AM CST November 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The LGBTQ community, along with several organizations, will celebrate Columbia's ban on conversion therapy. "Conversion therapy" is... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 7:29:00 AM CST November 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Russell Boulevard Elementary School will host a ceremony Wednesday honoring the life of a Columbia mayor who died... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 13 2019 Nov 13, 2019 Wednesday, November 13, 2019 3:24:00 AM CST November 13, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One group is fighting to have citizens vote directly on whether or not they want more Missourians... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 10:27:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Fire Department said a resident alerted firefighters to two people were stuck in a car... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 8:59:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Dan White hasn't always been proud to recognize himself as a Vietnam veteran. "Things weren't very good... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 8:58:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in EmVP
BOONE COUNTY - Crews restored power to nearly 800 Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives customers Tuesday night. The power... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, November 12 2019 Nov 12, 2019 Tuesday, November 12, 2019 7:19:00 PM CST November 12, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 30°
12am 27°
1am 27°
2am 26°
3am 25°