A missing-person case that has baffled area investigators for 17 years turned into a homicide investigation this week with the arrest of a former Augusta man now being held by Utah authorities on murder charges.
Daniel Converse Meyer, 50, of Roosevelt, Utah, is charged with murder, kidnapping and theft of a motor vehicle even though no body has been found, said Richmond County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Ronald Strength.
Mr. Meyer is charged in the shooting death of 35-year-old Calvin Edward "Eddie" Rouse of Evans, who disappeared March 24, 1981. He was last seen leaving his job at the old Columbia Nitrogen plant.
Three months later, Columbia County rescue divers fished Mr. Rouse's 1977 Buick Riviera out of the bottom of Keg Creek. The driver's side window had been smashed out.
Police said at the time of Mr. Rouse's disappearance that it could be connected to domestic problems he was having. He reportedly had an argument with a man shortly before his disappearance.
Chief Deputy Strength said Thursday night that foul play was not suspected until recently.
"Over the last several weeks, we have received information that this missing person had been murdered in Richmond County, and we developed enough evidence to get a warrant issued," the chief deputy said.
District Attorney Danny Craig said a grand jury in Augusta indicted Mr. Meyer on the charges more than two weeks ago. On Wednesday, Richmond County investigators, in cooperation with Duchesne County, Utah, officials, arrested Mr. Meyer at his home in Roosevelt without incident. On Thursday Mr. Meyer waived extradition, and Chief Deputy Strength said he will be brought back to Augusta this weekend.
Neither Chief Deputy Strength nor Mr. Craig would release the details surrounding the killing.
The indictment, which served as an arrest warrant, has been sealed, but now that it has been served, it likely will be unsealed within a few days, Mr. Craig said.
Chief Deputy Strength said police are looking for the victim's remains and believe the victim was killed at the time he disappeared.
Staff Writer Sandy Hodson contributed to this article.