Man charged in wife's death after 7-year-old finds body

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City man is charged in his wife's death after their child discovered her body and reported it to school counselors.

Benjamin H. Byers, 45, is charged with second-degree murder, armed criminal action, abandonment of a corpse and endangering the welfare of a child.

According to court records, the couple's 7-year-old child told a school counselor Wednesday that she had seen a dead body in her home on the 2400 block of College in Kansas City, Missouri.

When officers went to the home, they spoke with Byers who said he hadn't seen his wife since Monday. Officers found drops of blood throughout the house and found a tarp with carpet and blood all around it in the basement, according to records.

The child told investigators she hadn't seen her mother since Monday and that her father was acting weird when he picked her up Tuesday. She also reportedly said she saw a dead body wearing her mother's clothes in the basement, and it appeared the victim had been stabbed in the back.

A forensic investigation confirmed that the victim, identified in documents as Melissa Byers, 47, died from multiple stab wounds.

According to court documents, when investigators asked the child if she told Byers about what she saw in the basement, she said, "No, I didn't want to be next."

Prosecutors have requested a $500,000 bond.

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