MILLER COUNTY, Mo. — A well respected couple in Kaiser were found dead yesterday in an apparent double-homicide. Police found Dan and Pam Stephan deceased after arriving at their home on Highway D for a well-being check.
Investigators believe the Stephans were killed by J.T. McLean, the man accused of murdering a teacher and her 11-year-old daughter on Aug. 22 south of Columbia. More about the murders of Allison Abitz and her daughter Jozee.
A family friend told LakeExpo that the Stephans had expressed concern about McLean, previous to their deaths, since at one time he had a relationship with a member of their extended family, who was in hiding. But McLean knew where the Stephans lived.
The causes of death of the Lake area couple have not been released by the Miller County Sheriff.
After murdering the Stephans, McLean stole a truck from the residence. It was the ON STAR tracking system in the vehicle which led authorities to McLean in South Dakota.
Early this morning, the U.S. Marshal Service notified the sheriff in Union County, S.D., that the vehicle had been tracked to a motel. As police closed in, a drone was deployed over the vehicle, which found McLean dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Stephans were well-known and beloved in the Lake community. In addition to being good friends and neighbors to many, they gave of their time in service through their church, Christ the King Lutheran Church. Pam was involved in Christ the King's comfort-dog ministry. Dan, having worked in construction for years before his retirement, worked frequently on construction projects at Hope House—a local charitable organization—and at Christ the King, as well as lending a hand to pastors and neighbors on construction projects.
A full obituary for the Stephans will be forthcoming.