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Missouri man charged in 1988 murder now suspected in Oklahoma killings

Authorities say a Missouri man charged in the 1988 killing of a young mother also is being investigated in at least two other homicides.

Lawrence Gene Timmons, of Pierce City, was indicted Friday and is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday on a first-degree murder charge in the killing of 31-year-old Cynthia Smith, of Aurora.

Her body was found in August 1988, several days after she was last seen alive leaving a bar with an unknown man.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that investigators in Oklahoma, where Timmons once lived, have reopened investigations into the 1994 death of Timmons’ first wife, Deborah Jean Timmons, and the 1998 drowning death of an 11-year-old girl.

Sgt. Melissa Phillips, of Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office in Missouri, described Timmons as “an opportunist.”

Timmons previously served three years for kidnapping and assault.

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