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SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2015

Posts Tagged ‘Dusty Guenther’


The Wright County prosecuting attorney charged Terry Joe Volner on Thursday for

the murder of Dusty Guenther, 4, on Tuesday night. The 22-year-old man was treated

at a hospital in Springfield after the boy’s body was found on Wednesday morning in

an ice-covered lagoon next to the home of the boy’s family in northern Wright County.

A probable cause statement used as the basis of the charges says Volner called his

mother, Tina Miller, on Wednesday morning and said he killed “Gina, her boyfriend,

and her four kids. Volner confirmed this by sending Miller a picture via ceullular

phone of the boy with his throat cut.”  It turned out the mother and three sisters of

Dusty were unharmed. Gina Guenther was at work in Lebanon after leaving about

4:30 a.m. Her two older daughters were at Grovespring Elementary School and a

younger one was in a crib at the family’s home. The children are now in protective

custody, Sheriff Glenn Adler said on Wednesday.  “You don’t get over this. I’m a big

ol’ guy, but I’ve got a pretty soft heart, and it ‘s pretty hard to take some of this,”

the sheriff said.  Adler says Gina Guenther left her four young children in Terry

Volner’s care.  “He’d been living here, been taking care of the children while mother’s

at work,” he said.  Investigators haven’t said if they found “a boyfriend” of Gina

Guenther whom Volner told his mother he killed. Adler says Volner is not Guen-

ther’s boyfriend.  The Guenthers’ home at 10124 Highway Z is five miles south of

Competition and about 12 miles north of Hartville. The home has a Hartville

post office address.  Early Wednesday, the probable cause statement says, Volner

sent photos by cell phone to a woman. They show Dusty Guenther’s body “in some

tall grass with a laceration to his throat and what appears to be a wet stick

holding his chin up.  “Another picture showed Dusty laying in the same position,

with what appeared to be an adult’s left arm held up in front of the camera.

There was a tattoo on the arm in the picture, which is consistent with a tattoo

located on Volner’s left arm. It appears the tattoo is ‘Volner’ in cursive writing.

There were also two pictures of what appears to be a small leg submerged in ice

covered water,” the probable cause statement says.  Adler said he’d like to hear

from anyone else who heard from Volner early Wednesday.  “If they received

pictures from him, any texts that he sent, I need to know that,” he said.The

sheriff believes Volner then stabbed himself in the stomach.  “Was he trying

to cover up something or make it look like somebody assaulted him? We don’t

know,” Adler said.  Volner was at the Guenthers’ home when law enforcement

officers arrived. The state trooper who wrote the probable cause statement

says Volner confessed on Wednesday that he killed Dusty on Tuesday evening

or early Wednesday using “a folding knife to stab Dusty in the neck” and then

put the body in the lagoon.  The probable cause statement doesn’t say if Volner

made the confession at the family’s home or in the hospital in Springfield.

Adler says Volner hasn’t given a reason for killing Dusty, or explained why he

confessed to five other murders.  Volner was still in a hospital on Thursday

after being treated for a stab wound in his stomach. Adler said Thursday after-

noon that Volner was on the way back to Hartville, where he will be held in the

Wright County jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.

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