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SPRINGFIELD: According to statements from the Springfield, MO police department, Valerie Lynn Williams, 27, was killed on Wednesday, March 1, during a domestic altercation. She was 16 weeks pregnant at the time and her unborn daughter also died.
Valerie, who sold timeshare in Branson, was in the process of moving to Springfield to live with her boyfriend, Derik Clayton Osborn, who was the baby’s father. It was Osborne who called 911 at around 1:45 AM to report a woman who wasn’t breathing.
When police arrived they performed CPR on Valerie until paramedics took her to a hospital. At the hospital it was discovered that Valerie suffered from severe internal injuries and they could not save her. She was pronounced dead at 2:18 p.m. Wednesday. Her child also could not be saved; she died six hours later.
Police interviewed Osborn at the scene and took an initial statement but took no immediate action against him as they were not able to see any signs of violence on her at the time.
Osborn originally claimed that he had returned home only to find Valerie passed out on the floor. He said he picked her up and put her in bed. His story changed when he spoke to a second officer, however, when he said she had fallen to the floor during an argument in the living room. He said she subsequently did not move and was gasping for breath and he couldn’t rouse her so he eventually moved her to the bedroom and called 911.
But according to the initial report, “After arriving at the hospital, medical staff discovered the victim had sustained serious internal injuries that were consistent with injuries sustained from an assault.” Medical staff discovered a skull fracture with bleeding on the brain, plus a lacerated liver, discoloration and bruises on her body and a superficial scratch on her neck. A bruise on the small of her back may have been caused by being struck with an object or pushed into something.
Once police had that information they returned to the apartment she was sharing with Osborn and found him asleep in bed. They asked him to accompany them to the police station, where his story changed yet again. According to documents he said they argued and at one point Valerie threatened him with pepper spray. When he tried to grab it away from her she pulled back, fell to the floor and hit her head on the carpeted concrete floor. His statement says that she lay on the floor for about 10 minutes, not moving and making gasping, snoring sounds as she fought for breath, until he picked her up and carried her to the bed. Then he noticed her lips and throat were purple and she was still fighting for breath so that’s when he called 911.
That statement was contradicted by a neurosurgeon and a trauma surgeon who attended Valerie, though. According to a Springfield Police Department probable cause statement, which was used in filing charges against Osborn, they told the investigating detective that in their opinion her injuries could not have been sustained by falling on the floor from a standing position and striking her head. The neurosurgeon said her skull fracture would have to have been applied by force, and the trauma surgeon said the liver laceration appeared to be a recent injury caused by blunt force.
Armed with that information police arrested Osborn on Thursday, March 2 and charged him with two counts of second-degree murder. He was incarcerated at the Greene County Jail and is being held on $500,000 bail. If convicted he could get a life prison sentence for each of the two deaths.
An obituary and tribute wall for her can be found online at Vigen Memorial Home.
Our sincere condolences go out to Valerie’s two young sons, her family and friends.
“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth
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