By NOREEN HYSLOP
The body found in rural Dexter on Thursday, Sept. 6 has finally been positively identified as that of 37-year-old Shawn Byron Smith, a former resident of Dexter, it was learned Friday.
Smith's body was discovered in a grassy area behind a residence on County Road 403 on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. Because of significant decomposition having taken place prior to the finding, the body was sent to the St. Louis Medical Examiner's Office for positive identification.
According to Stoddard County Coroner Aaron Mathis, attempts to identify the body through hospital records of Smith were initially inconclusive. DNA records finally proved to be the source of a positive identification.
The exact cause of Smith's death has not yet been released. That information, according to Mathis, will come from the anthropologist who has worked on the case in the St. Louis office of the Medical Examiner. Whether or not foul play was involved in the death will also be revealed through the anthropologist's findings, along with the approximate date of death.
Smith had been employed in Hollister, Mo. at the time of his death.
Family members of Smith have known for the past month that the unidentified body was likely that of their loved one. A full obituary appears in the Sunday edition of the paper.