Local News Spotlight

Man convicted of killing wife 20 years ago

Updated: 2012-11-30T03:53:38Z

St. Louis Post Dispatch

A jury on Thursday convicted a St. Louis County man of killing his wife and dumping her body in a septic tank more than 20 years ago, officials said.

Douglas Howery, 60, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 1992 disappearance and death of his wife, Betty Ann Howery, 44, of St. Charles.

She vanished in February 1992 after a night at their family farm in Annada, Mo., in Pike County near the Mississippi River. She was missing until October 2008, when a crew bulldozing the land found her skeleton in an abandoned septic tank.

The victim’s son, Matt Higginbotham, attended the trial, which was moved to Audrain County. He said he and his family are relieved.

“It feels like a million-pound burden has been lifted off of me,” said Higginbotham, 44, of Dardenne Prairie.

Howery’s public defender, Tom Crocco Jr., said he would appeal the conviction.

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