A Colorado man has been arrested and charged with murder and abandonment of a corpse in Clay County.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control says they have arrested 36-year-old Fort Morgan, Colorado resident Benjamin Tyler Simmons.
On June 6, 2023, Simmons was charged by the Clay County Prosecuting Attorney with first degree murder and abandonment of a corpse, in relation to the death of 37-year-old Sterling, Colorado resident Sarah Tafoya.
Simmons is being held in the Missouri Department of Corrections Fulton Reception and Diagnostic Center on an unrelated probation violation and has an active Clay County warrant for first degree murder and abandonment of a corpse. Simmons’ Clay County cash only bond is set at $5,000,000.
The Highway Patrol says they began their investigation in early May after Tafoya’s estranged husband reported her missing, saying she was somewhere in Clay County, in the company of Benjamin T. Simmons, and saying she told him she “needed help”.
On May 23, authorities say a witness reported Simmons confessed to having killed Tafoya, in a Kansas City area hotel, and disposed of her body in a wooded area, in Clay County. Two days later investigators interviewed Simmons who reportedly confessed to the killing and provided investigators with a location where he left the body.
Investigators searched that area and located human remains, which were ultimately identified as Sarah Tafoya.