Poplar Bluff man arrested in connection with woman found dead in Wayne County, Mo.

A Poplar Bluff man is in custody in connection with the death of a woman in Wayne County.
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 7:34 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2023 at 8:21 AM CST
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WAYNE COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS) - The report of a woman found dead in a home in Wayne County, Missouri on Monday, January 23, led investigators to Butler County.

Emergency crews were called around 6 p.m. to a house trailer on the 2500 block of Route C, near Lowndes, and found a woman dead.

According to Wayne County Sheriff Dean Finch, the father of 36-year-old Leslie Nicole Cook, of Hiram, found his daughter unresponsive in the kitchen and called for help.

Sheriff Finch said foul play is suspected in her death, and Cook had been assaulted.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday in Farmington. A time has not been set because of the incoming winter storm.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control was contacted to assist with the death investigation.

Sheriff Finch said the processing of the scene led investigators to Butler County.

According to Butler County Sheriff Mark Dobbs, details led detectives to the home of 43-year-old Willie “Eddie” Sipes, on the 1400 block of County Road 521, in northern part of the county, near Poplar Bluff.

Sheriff Dobbs believes Cook died from injuries she received while at Sipes’ home.

Dobbs said Sipes and another woman took Cook back to her home in Wayne County after she was injured.

Sipes was arrested in connection with Cook’s death and is being held in the Butler County Justice Center, pending formal charges.

Sheriff Dobbs is requesting the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office to charge Sipes with second-degree murder and possession of a controlled substance.