Murder charges filed in the death of missing man found in Camden County

Eric Cole/Cole County Jail
Eric Cole/Cole County Jail(ky3)
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 2:51 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2022 at 5:37 PM CDT
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MONTREAL, Mo. (KY3) - Prosecutors filed murder charges in the death of a man found in Camden County.

Eric Brandon Cole faces second-degree murder charges in the death of Tanner Elmore. He also faces stealing, abandonment of a corpse, and conspiracy to distribute drug charges in the case.

Investigators say Cole had been with Elmore on the night of June 7. They say the two had agreed to buy drugs in Jefferson City. Investigators say Elmore overdosed in Jefferson City. They say he did not get help, passing multiple hospitals, fire stations, and police stations with NARCAN.

“The facts as alleged in the probable cause statement are truly horrific. While this man needed assistance, he needed this person to help him. He (Cole) drove him for more than 45 minutes to where he was abandoned and stole his belongings from him after he left him on the side of the road,” said Camden County Prosecutor Caleb Cunningham.

Police say Cole admitted to dragging Elmore out of the vehicle and leaving him on McCubbin’s Road on June 7. He also stole money and Elmore’s money. Deputies found the body on July 14.

“Mr. Cole escorted us to the area nearby where the body was dropped off but couldn’t specifically point to where it was. Eventually, we did locate Mr. Elmore, in an advanced state of decomposition,” said Sgt. Scott Hines.

Missouri does have a Good Samaritan law, meaning Cole could have taken Elmore to a police station, fire station, or hospital to get help, and he would not have any charges.

“The good Samaritan law says that if you even as a user if you contact law enforcement, ambulance crew, rescue of some sort, that you will not be prosecuted for being in possession of those narcotics,” said Sgt. Hines.

The Camden County Sheriff’s Office had previously asked for the public’s help locating Elmore, considering him a missing person.

Cole has been in the Cole County Jail on unrelated charges. A judge did not issue any bond in the case.

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