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Arrest made in Casey murder

October 10, 2012|By TODD KLEFFMAN | tkleffman@amnews.com

LIBERTY — Kentucky State Police have arrested the man believed to be the shooter in last month’s murder at a Casey County pallet mill.

William R. “Bobby” Rigdon, 28, of Marion County is being held without bond this morning in the Casey County Detention Center after being charged with murder in the Sept. 26 shooting death of Wendell “Gleason” Pyles at Tarter Manufacturing Co. in Dunnville.

Rigdon was taken into custody without incident Tuesday night at his home on St. Rose Road about three miles north of Lebanon, according to a KSP press release.

Rigdon is the second person arrested in connection with Pyles’ murder. David Salyers, 59, of Elk Horn in Taylor County, pleaded not guilty to complicity to commit murder during his arraignment Tuesday in Casey District Court. Salyers remains in the Casey jail under a $1 million bond.

While the investigation into Pyle’s murder remains open, Trooper Billy Gregory said this morning, “We believe we have the two key people involved in this incident in custody.”

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When he was arrested last week, Salyers allegedly told KSP Detective Ricky Brooks that Pyles was killed because he owed Salyers an undisclosed amount of money. Salyers admitted he drove another man to the Tarter facility and told police the man shot Pyles, according to his arrest citation.

Pyles, 50, of Adair County, was shot three times in the back of the head as he worked alone in a pallet mill about 10 p.m. Sept. 26. He was employed as a maintenance man by Tarter.

Gregory would not directly identify Rigdon as the suspected shooter but pointed out that he is charged with murder while Salyers is charged with complicity.

Rigdon is well known to area law enforcement. His estranged wife, Kara Higdon, was reported missing from her mother’s home in Gravel Switch in July 2010 and has never been found. Rigdon has never been charged in connection with his wife’s disappearance, but he was charged with forgery and being a persistent felony offender while police were investigating that case.

Rigdon, along with four family members, were indicted for kidnapping in 2005 after a 16-year-old Marion County girl disappeared. The girl was later found in Tennessee, and the charges against the Rigdons were reduced to custodial interference.

“He’s not a new face to law enforcement,” Gregory said of Rigdon.

Kara Rigdon’s disappearance is still an open investigation, but new information about the case has slowed considerably, Gregory said. It’s hoped that Bobby Rigdon’s arrest for Pyles’ murder might refreshen the public’s interest in the missing woman, he said today.

“We don’t have any information that says Kara is not still alive,” the trooper said. “In light of this arrest, maybe that will bring it back to the public’s mind. If anyone knows anything about it, we’re still looking for help.”

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