Madison, Mo., man charged with second-degree murder after human remains found in pond

Betty Hayes

Betty Hayes | Photo courtesy of Monroe County Sheriff's Department

HOLLIDAY, Mo. — A Madison, Mo., man has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder after human remains were found.

Investigators with the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search on Friday, July 28 of a pond in Monroe County. The investigation was done in connection with the investigation into the 2021 disappearance of Betty L. Hayes, 88, of Holliday, Mo.

Members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol Dive Team recovered human remains from the pond at 2:40 p.m. Friday. A press release from the Missouri State Highway Patrol said an autopsy of the remains will be performed later.  

Investigators arrested Lyle W. Miller, 65, of Madison at approximately 8:10 p.m. Friday for the murder of Hayes. Monroe County Prosecutor Nicole Volkert has formally charged Miller with second-degree murder. He is being held without bond.  

Hayes was reported missing at approximately 4:24 p.m. Dec. 17, 2021. The last known contact with Hayes was by a family member on the evening of Dec. 16, 2021.  She was believed to have been at her home in Holliday, Mo., at that time.  

A search for Hayes near her home was conducted on Dec. 17, 2021. It was expanded to a large-scale air and ground search the next day. The search was conducted by law enforcement, firefighters, volunteers, and a Missouri State Highway Patrol aircraft.

Rumors that law enforcement discovered the body of Hayes in April 2023 were proven to be untrue. Monroe County Sheriff Joe Colston said material in a Monroe County field that appeared to have come from a pair of pants didn’t appear to related to what Hayes was wearing. At the time, Colston also dismissed rumors about a set of dentures that reportedly were found.

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