by Alan McArthur
Updated 9-22-08, 2:45 p.m.
The Missouri Highway Patrol is now looking for a person of interest in the homicide of Valentin G. Kirilchuk, 39, of Springfield, at the rest area along Interstate 29 south of Dearborn. On Monday, the highway patrol released a composite sketch of the person they are currently seeking.
Kirilchuk was found on Monday, Sept. 8 in the men’s restroom of the facility along northbound I-29 south of Dearborn.
The person of interest in the incident is described as a white female, approximately 30 years of age between 5 foot 6 inches and 5 foot 7 inches tall with a thin build and shoulder length reddish-blonde hair. She is also described as having freckles on her face.
The woman was wearing a white blouse with a design on it and was wearing a jacket or sweater that was unbuttoned. She is described as having a weak southern accent.
The highway patrol is also looking for a white SUV, similar to a Honda Element or Scion, with three people in it that was seen at the rest area around the time of the homicide.
A motorist stopping at the rest area found Kirilchuk and called authorities.
Kirilchuk was found on the floor of the restroom with a gunshot wound.
According to Scott Meyer, sergeant with the highway patrol, the investigators still have unanswered questions in the death and are continuing to investigate.
Dan Green, sergeant with the highway patrol, said Kirilchuk’s vehicle was found parked in the parking lot of the rest area.
The homicide is being investigated by the Missouri Highway Patrol's Division of Drug and Crime Control.
Meyer would not comment whether the gun was found at the scene, citing the ongoing investigation.
The rest area was closed for several hours after the incident while the death was investigated and the scene was cleaned up.
The highway patrol is interested in speaking with anyone who was at the rest area on Sept. 8 between 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Anyone with information is asked to call the Tips Hotline at 816-474-TIPS, or the highway patrol at 816-622-0800. A $1,000 reward is now being offered by the Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline to anyone providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the homicide.