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Nina Keown Murder: Ex-Husband Charged in Missing Woman's Death

Nina Keown (Personal Photo)
Nina Keown (PICTURES): Ex-Husband Charged In Missing Woman's Death
Nina Keown (Personal Photo)

SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (CBS/WLKY) Murder charges were filed in the Scott County Circuit Court Wednesday against Robert Petty in the death of his ex-wife Nina Keown.

PICTURES: Nina Keown

Keown was reported missing in early August. Her remains were recovered in Clark County, in southeastern Indiana on Aug. 27.

Petty was charged with murder, removal of a body from a scene and obstruction of justice. He is being held without bond.

For the last month, police had pointed to Robert Petty as the prime suspect.

According to court documents, Petty has already admitted to the crime.

A probable cause affidavit states that Petty told police that he and Keown left a music festival together on Aug. 7 and returned to his home. That's when an argument began over phone calls Keown had been making.

The affidavit states, "There was a discussion about who she had been talking to, and a struggle for the phone. He states that he held her down on the bed and demanded to know who it was on the phone."

The affidavit continues: "She told him it was none of his business, and he choked her with his right hand...continuing to demand who it was on the phone. He says she tried to talk but was not able to...Petty states that after choking her, Keown could not respond to him, her eyes were closed, and she could only mumble. He stated that he grabbed her by her shoulders and bounced her and she was like a 'rag doll.'"

The affidavit then states that Petty put Keown's body on his four-wheeler and drove her to the remote location where her body was eventually found. It also states that Petty later returned to that spot more than once.

It reads, "He states that he went back to her body later that day...to take her clothing off because he thought there might be some evidence on them...He took her clothing home and burned them along with his clothing and the comforter from the bed... He stated that he also went back to her body about four or five days later, at night, with the intentions of burying her, but he could not find the body that time."

Police said Petty later returned to that spot one last time, when he led investigators to Keown's body.

An initial hearing is scheduled to take place in the Scott Circuit Court in Scottsburg on Thursday.

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