Police say a former Sedalia resident has confessed to stealing thousands of dollars worth of Civil War items from the Pettis County Museum.

Sedalia Police
Randy Kirby

On March 24, The Pettis County Museum reported to Sedalia Police the theft of several Civil War artifacts.

According to a press release from the Sedalia Police Department, a museum employee began a computer search and located what was believed to be one of the stolen items on a Civil War collector's website, based out of Tennessee.

Police contacted the owner of the website, identified as Mr. Eledge, and he reportedly confirmed that he had purchased a cap and ball musket rifle from the suspect in June 2017.

The suspect, 38-year old Terry J. Cockrell, of Coffeyville, KS (formerly of Sedalia), had been a volunteer at the museum until fall 2017, when he moved away.

Eledge also stated he had purchased a Civil War sword, a surgical kit, and a brass barrel Blunderbuss from Cockrell. Eledge was able to provide police with documentation of the purchases. The report indicates that Cockrell was "deceitful" about how he obtained the items, when he sold them to Eledge.

Police later made contact with Cockrell, who reportedly confessed to stealing the items and selling them. A state charge of stealing has been submitted to the Pettis County Prosecutor's office.

The stolen items are valued at several thousands of dollars. Eledge is working with police to have the stolen returned to the museum. Sedalia Police say there is no information to indicate Eledge knew the items were stolen and he has also been a victim.

Ryan Skaith
Ryan Skaith

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