On 1/30/17 at 3:00 p.m., officers were dispatched to a residence in the 2900 block of Leeway Drive for a deceased male. Officers arrived on scene and discovered the deceased male, identified as Steven Summa, age 60, from Columbia, inside the residence. Due to the suspicious nature of the scene, detectives responded to assist in the investigation.
At approximately 8:30 p.m., a search warrant was served at the residence. Members of the Forensic Evidence Team completed a search and examination of the residence. Mr. Summa was transported to the Boone County Medical Examiner's Office where an autopsy was performed. Preliminary results from the autopsy did not indicate foul play. Toxicology results are pending.
On 1/31/17, Missouri State Highway Patrol was notified of a warrant for the arrest of Deborah Berardi in relation to this case. At approximately 9:00 p.m., Berardi was arrested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol during a traffic stop on Interstate 70. Berardi was interviewed by Columbia Police Department Detectives. She was arrested for abandonment of a corpse with a bond of $20,000.00. Berardi was transported and released to the Boone County Jail.
The investigation is ongoing and pending the Boone County Medical Examiner's full report.
If anyone has any information regarding this death investigation, please contact the Columbia Police Department or Crimestoppers at (573)875-TIPS to remain anonymous.