The Columbia Police Department and City of Columbia Columbia Utilities held a press conference Friday, Sept. 6, to discuss the logistics surrounding a dig at the landfill to search for the remains of Megan Shultz. CPD Assistant Chief Jeremy Hunter and Utilities Assistant Director Dave Sorrell provided information regarding the possible search.
On Aug. 4, Keith Comfort turned himself in to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin Police and made voluntary statements implicating himself in the murder of Megan Shultz, his wife at the time of her disappearance. Comfort indicated that he disposed of Shultz’s remains in a dumpster on the 1700 block of Amelia Street.
The Columbia Police Department, in conjunction with the Solid Waste Utility, have discussed the logistics of a landfill dig to look for evidence. After research and several meetings, the Solid Waste Utility was able to provide the probable landfill locations in use during the period of time Comfort indicated. Through the use of annual topography, Solid Waste was able to narrow down the area to a 14-acre section of the more than 100-acre landfill in use in 2006. Through the use of operating records, those 14 acres were further narrowed to a 3 to 4 acre area most likely in use in August of that year.
With the assistance of the Solid Waste Utility, detectives from CPD will be exploring these areas by digging holes to search for appropriately dated materials, such as newspapers, receipts and postmarks. Detectives are not currently searching for evidence related to the crime, but only for indicators confirming these are the locations that were in use in August 2006. If these areas are successfully identified, CPD can then determine the feasibility of a larger excavation to search for evidence. The feasibility of a larger search will also be determined by depths in the area, which ranges from 10 to 50 feet.
The FAA has granted a temporary flight restriction over the landfill for 3,000 feet and below, meaning drones will not be permitted to fly over the area during the investigation.
Media members are asked to refrain from coming to the landfill due to safety concerns in relation to the large equipment being used during the exploratory dig.
The community will be notified if any additional information is available.
Case number 2006-009538
Previous Press Release(s):
Suspect arrested regarding open missing person case from 2006
UPDATE: Information regarding Megan Shultz investigation