Autopsies planned for couple murdered in Miller County

Lake Sun Leader

Autopsies for two people who were killed at their home off of D Road in Miller County are scheduled for next week. 

The autopsies will be performed Monday, Sept. 13 for Daniel and Pam Stephan at the University of Missouri in Columbia. According to the Miller County Sheriff’s Office, the results of those autopsies may not be available for several weeks.

The couple was found dead Wednesday, Sept. 8 when deputies were called to the 300 block of Route D in Kaiser for a well-being check. The preliminary investigation identified a suspect, JT Mclean, who was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound by the Union County Sheriff’s Office in South Dakota on Thursday, Sept. 9. 

McLean was on the run after being charged with first-degree murder for killing his girlfriend Allison Abitz, 43, and her daughter, Jose Abitz, 11 at their home in Columbia on Sunday, August 22. 

According to the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to their home after family members couldn’t get ahold of Abitz. Evidence at the scene indicates Allison had been strangled and Jose had been drowned. Investigators were able to determine McLean was responsible for their deaths. 

The two victims in Miller County were related to one of McLean’s ex-wives. A motorcycle McLean left the Columbia area on was found in the woods near the Stephan’s home. The Stephan’s vehicle had been stolen from the home and through the assistance of On Star law enforcement tracked McLean to an area outside of Sioux City, Iowa where his body was found inside the truck. Relatives of the Miller County victims reside in the Sioux City area, however law enforcement contacted them and moved them to a safe location.  A motive has not been determined at this time. 

The Union County Sheriff’s Office has executed a search warrant and obtained several items of interest. Detectives will be traveling to South Dakota next week along with Boone County and Highway Patrol Investigators. 

Out of respect for the Stephan family, limited information is being released until the investigation is complete. Additional information will follow in the next several weeks. The Miller County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and Union County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this joint investigation.