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Missouri woman's 1989 cold case murder solved after person comes forward with "rock-solid" tip; 3 men arrested

Authorities in Missouri say a 35-year cold case killing has been solved, thanks to someone who came forward with information about the crime.

Douglas County authorities announced Wednesday that three men have been arrested and indicted on first-degree murder, forcible rape and first-degree kidnapping charges in the 1989 killing of 24-year-old Kelle Ann Workman. Court records show that the men do not yet have listed attorneys. All three are jailed on $250,000 cash-only bond.

The three suspects were identified as Bobby Banks, Leonard Banks and Wiley Belt, who are all in their 60s, CBS affiliate KOLR-TV reported.

Workman was last seen cutting the grass at a rural cemetery in southwestern Missouri on June 30, 1989. Her body was found submerged in a creek more than 10 miles away a week later.

"I think we're able to give Kelle some justice and hopefully give the family some closure, knowing that these guys are not here running around and simply getting away with it," Douglas County Sheriff Chris Degase said at a news conference.

Douglas County Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Weatherman said the information from the person who came forward is "rock-solid."

"There was a person that came forward after almost 30 years of holding this inside that came forward and finally told us the last piece we needed to slide it all together," Weatherman said.

Asked if he was confident in the case, Weatherman said, "It's as good as a 1989 case can ever be."

Workman was last seen at the Dogwood Cemetery near a Baptist church in a rural area of Douglas County. Several people joined police in searching for her. Her body was found on July 7, 1989, in a creek near Oldfield, Missouri.

Shana Beebe, Workman's first cousin, told KOLR-TV that she can still remember the investigation when it began.

"I was a teenager at the time, and from what my initial memories were was Kelle's mother came into our home to get my father to let us know that Kelle was missing. She was in a panic. It was very emotional. That's kind of where the fear set in, because this wasn't Kelle's normal behavior at that point," Beebe told the station. "We remember sitting around as like family in a group in and out for like search parties. It was lasted over a period of days. When she was finally discovered, it was a relief, but it was also heartbreaking. Two of our uncles actually were present when they found her body. Very emotional for them. To this day, they really can't talk about it. They have a hard time with it."

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