Husband charged in murder of Sunset Hills woman

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CLAYTON, MO (KPLR) – Prosecutors charged a Franklin County man in connection with the disappearance and murder of his estranged wife.

Linda Mclaughlin, 57, disappeared in June 2015. She was last seen at a restaurant in the Kirkwood area. Her car was found a few days later in south St. Louis.

Authorities searched a family farm in the Gerald area of Franklin County on two separate occasions but did not find Mclaughlin’s body.

According to St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCullough, Mclaughlin's remains discovered Tuesday in a shallow grave on federal property in a remote part of the state and taken to the St. Louis County Medical Examiner's Office for a full examination beginning Wednesday. McCullough described the terrain where Mclaughlin was found as "remote," "rough," and "rugged."

Suzanne McCune at the St. Louis County Medical Examiner's office said they will use dental records to try to make a positive ID and hope to have results either Wednesday or Thursday. The medical examiner's office is also trying to determine the cause of death. They expect to have that within 24 hours, but it may not be released to the public because of the investigation.

The remains were exposed to the elements over the duration of the search, McCullough. An exact cause of death has not been determined.

Mclaughlin was in the middle of a divorce when she vanished and St. Louis County police believed at the time she may have been the victim of a crime.

John Mclaughlin, Linda’s estranged husband, and his brother Robert were arrested Tuesday. John was charged Wednesday afternoon with second-degree murder and remains jailed on $2 million bond. McCullough said Robert has not yet been charged, but the investigation would continue. New charges could be filed against other people, McCullough said.

John’s attorney, Scott Rosenblum, confirmed both men were arrested in connection with the case.