Bland man, 53, dead from ‘suspected gunshot wound’

By: 
Dave Marner
Managing Editor

Nearly 60 hours after 53-year-old Jesse Robbins, Bland, was pronounced dead from a “suspected gunshot wound,” no cause of death has been released but Gasconade County Sheriff John Romanus insisted there was no threat to the public.

“As far as public safety goes, I’d put that out. No, not at this time,” he said late Tuesday afternoon.

And, no one was in custody.

Romanus released a brief press release Monday afternoon noting his deputies responded early Sunday morning to “a report of a medical emergency, located at 104 Pleasant Avenue in Bland. 53-year-old Jesse Robbins of Bland suffered a suspected gunshot wound. Robbins was unable to be resuscitated and was pronounced deceased at the scene. The official cause of death is undetermined at this point, pending the completion of a medical examiner’s report.”

Romanus spoke with The Republican Sunday afternoon and said no one was in custody and that he had asked the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control (DDCC) to assist with the investigation.

Romanus’ release on Monday noted their investigation was continuing and they “would appreciate being contacted by anyone with information related to the matter.”

Romanus described the location where Robbins was found as a “trailer park” with “multiple, several trailers” but would not comment if he was found indoors or outdoors. 

“I’ve been hearing all kinds of things about all kinds of people,” said Romanus when asked if a woman and a man were being sought in connection with the incident. A source told The Republican that two people, a woman and a man, “were on the run.”

“We’re looking at several people at this time and I can’t comment on anything further than that,” Romanus said.

The first-term sheriff went on to say he expected to have more information available for next week’s news cycle but acknowledged that probably wasn’t very helpful for this week’s newspaper.

And, he could not confirm — or refute at this time — if the incident was being classified as a homicide.

“I can’t answer that question yet,” Romanus said.

Was it a self-inflicted wound, the sheriff was asked.

“I can’t comment on that until we get the medical examiner’s report,” he said.

Romanus said late Tuesday afternoon he did not have a report from the medical examiner’s office.

“We don’t have any reports yet,” he said, adding, “it might be a couple days until we receive a report from them.”

An autopsy was conducted at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Boone County Medical Examiners Office at University Hospital in Columbia, according to Gasconade County Coroner Benjamin Grosse.

Grosse said he spoke with the medical examiner’s liaison Tuesday afternoon but said he could not release information about the cause of Robbins’ death, citing the ongoing investigation by the sheriff’s office.

“I’m just going to kind of leave it at that, at this time,” said Grosse. “We can’t release any information since it’s under investigation. That’s his part of it.”

What little information Grosse was able to share was that Robbins was pronounced dead at the scene by ambulance personnel at 7:17 a.m. Nov. 25.

A spokesperson from the Gasconade County E-911 Dispatch Center told The Republican they were not allowed to comment. “We’re not allowed to give out any information at this time,” the spokesperson said when asked what time ambulance personnel were dispatched to the scene.

That request was made by Sheriff John Romanus, The Republican was told.

“We’re right in the middle of an investigation. I think we’re doing pretty good with the limited resources we have available as a small agency,” said Romanus. Additional information was not provided by the 9:30 p.m. Tuesday deadline.