Phelps County woman missing for months, boyfriend commits suicide

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Jacquelyn Auten-Metz

Jacquelyn Auten-Metz

ST. JAMES, MO (KPLR) – Deputies with the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department are still searching for a 52-year-old woman who went missing months ago and whose boyfriend recently committed suicide after being identified as a person of the interest.

According to Phelps County Sheriff Richard Lisenbe, the family of Jacquelyn Auten-Metz contacted authorities on May 30 to file a missing person’s report, saying she had not been heard from since April 8.

Auten-Metz, who lives in the 21000 block of County Road 3644 in St. James, did not have a car or cell phone. She was last known to be with her boyfriend, identified as Jessie Bockover.

Investigators spoke with Bockover twice and found some of his statements to be inconsistent, Lisenbe said. Bockover was then named as a person of interest in the investigation. Authorities attempted to interview Bockover a third time but could not find him.

Bockover was found dead July 14 in the 21000 block of County Road 3644 from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Lisenbe said.

Shortly after locating Bockover’s body, investigators with the sheriff’s department and Missouri State Police received information that Auten-Metz’s remains might be located on a farm in rural St. James.

On July 27, authorities obtained consent to search the property from the landowner. Cadaver dogs were brought in to assist in the search. Investigators initially had a positive alert and began excavating the area with heavy equipment, but nothing of value could be found.

Sheriff Lisenbe said deputies will continue to search the rural areas of St. James with cadaver dogs in the hopes of finding some kind of evidence.

Anyone with information on the disappearance and whereabouts of Jacquelyn Auten-Metz is asked to call the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department at 573-426-3860.