Authorities say a man charged with fatally stabbing a woman has admitted to dismembering her body and hiding some of her remains in a wooded area and pond in southern Missouri.

Sixty-three-year-old Walter Stewart, of West Plains, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder and four other counts. He is being held without bond. No attorney is listed for him in online court records.

The Ozark Radio Network reports that the unidentified 35-year-old victim was reported missing Aug. 9 because her family hadn't heard from her in almost three weeks. Court records say Stewart initially told police the victim disappeared after talking to another man.

When approached again Monday, officers smelled decomposition and found a blood stain on the floor. Court records say he led detectives to her remains.

Walter Stewart West Plains Mo
Howell County Sheriff's Department

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