Charges filed in cold case assault in Taney Co.


The Missouri State Highway Patrol has announced charges have been filed against 61-year-old Tony Lee Wagner of Fort Scott, Kansas, for a 1992 assault in Henning State Park, in Taney County.

On August 14, 1992, two women traveled from Texas to vacation in the Branson, Missouri, area. On the afternoon of August 15, 1992, both women visited the Henning State Park on Missouri Highway 76 in Taney County to walk on the trails. While walking the trails they encountered an unknown male. The unknown male began to assault both women. One of the women was able to escape and summoned help from a passing motorist. Law enforcement officers quickly began a search of the park. The second victim was located in the park in an area away from the original scene. Both victims were transported to area hospitals. The Missouri State Highway Patrol and Taney County Sheriff’s Department immediately launched a joint investigation.

No suspects were identified during the initial investigation; thus, the case went cold.

Continued investigation efforts and advances in forensic science technology led to Wagner being identified as a suspect.

Troop D Division of Drug and Crime Control Unit, the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Laboratory Division, Fort Scott (Kansas) Police Department, and Parabon Nanolabs worked together to solve the case. The Taney County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Wagner with assault first degree (two counts), kidnapping, and forcible rape on October 11, 2022. Fort Scott (Kansas) Police Department officers arrested Wagner, who is being held without bond in the Bourbon County, Kansas, jail pending extradition to Missouri.

The above charges are mere accusation and are not evidence of guilt.

Evidence in support of the charges must be presented before a court of competent jurisdiction whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

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