ROLLA, Mo. — An Appanoose County man has been charged with tampering with evidence in a Missouri murder investigation involving his son.

The Phelps County Sheriff's Office in Missouri said it charged 66-year-old Douglas Wayne Billingsley, of Exline, Iowa, with tampering with evidence in a felony proceeding on Monday. He posted $20,000 bond and was released.

The man's son, Michael Douglas Billingsley, 37, of Beulah, Missouri, faces pending charges of felony murder, domestic assault and abandonment of a corpse. He is being held without bond at the Phelps County Jail.

According to a sheriff's office press release, law enforcement was notified on Monday at 12:44 a.m. of an unresponsive female at a residence in Beulah, Missouri, about 67 miles south of Jefferson City.

When deputies arrived, they found 40-year-old Vanessa Lee Bradfield to be deceased in the residence. The woman was in a relationship with Michael Billingsley, according to police.

Investigators determined the death was suspicious and developed a person of interest. Multiple agencies, including the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri Department of Conservation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, searched for about 16 hours before locating Michael Billingsley and arresting him.

According to a probable cause statement from the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, a physical altercation occurred between Michael Billingsley and Bradfield. Investigators say Michael Billingsley hit Bradfield, she fell to the ground and he left to take a nap.

The documents say Michael Billingsley told investigators once he awoke and find Bradfield was not home, he went searching and found her lying on the ground where she had fallen. He told investigators he attempted CPR but was unsuccessful, then returned home to cook a meal for the victim's two children "in a celebration of life for the deceased."

Investigators in the document say the son and father exchanged texts, and the last message from Douglas Billingsley was an instruction to Michael Billingsley to delete all texts.

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