A joint investigation involving the Texas County and Wright County sheriff’s departments has ended with authorities believing a murder suspect shot and killed himself.

Law enforcement officers found the body of 53-year-old Shane Masterson in Texas County in the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 12. They think he killed Mountain Grove resident Novie Baney, 33, in Wright County two days earlier.

Texas County Sheriff James Sigman and Wright County Sheriff Glenn Adler held a press conference in the afternoon after Masterson’s body was located. Sigman said Masterson’s truck was found the previous evening in a field next to some brush off Highway 38 about three miles inside Texas County, and his body was discovered the next morning a few hundreds yards away.

Investigators found a gun near his body and evidence he had shot himself.

“He was deceased and it appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Sigman said.

Adler said a landowner called 911 in the evening of Nov. 11 indicating the truck was along a rural road about 10 miles north of Mountain Grove. Sigman said some cabins in the area had been searched that night.

Adler said Baney (who went by the nickname of Buck) and Masterson knew each other, and investigation continues as Wright County officers try to determine whether anyone was with Masterson when Baney was shot.  

TCSD Lt. Wes Campbell said Tuesday no motive for the murder has been established, and that Masterson was a long-time Cabool resident who was living in Mountain Grove in Wright County at the time of the incident.

A visitation period for Baney’s family was Nov. 13 at Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home in Cabool, and a graveside service was the following day at Green Mountain Cemetery at Mountain Grove.

A memorial service for Masterson took place Nov. 15 at Arroll Community Church near Summersville.

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