Authorities on Saturday released the name of the man whose body was discovered Friday morning in the driveway of a northern Newton County home.
Ken Copeland, sheriff of Newton County, said the cause of death for 30-year-old Dennis Meyer, of Joplin, has not yet been determined and they are awaiting the results of a toxicology report.
There were no visible signs of the cause of death on the body or at the scene, a driveway in the 1300 block of Route V, and Copeland said Meyer’s death could have been caused by a drug overdose.
Court records show Meyer previously has pleaded guilty to burglary charges in Jasper County, and in 2012 Meyer pleaded guilty to a third-degree assault charge in Newton County and was sentenced to 240 days in jail.
Investigators also are looking into a link between Meyer’s death and the shooting of Thomas “Tommy” Webb, 44, of Joplin, the sheriff said.
Authorities believe the two incidents may be tied to a local group called the Joplin Honkies. Copeland said Meyer’s body had a Joplin Honkie tattoo, or the tattoo “417,” signifying the area code of Southwest Missouri.
Webb was found Monday with two bullet holes in his body after he pulled into a driveway in the 3500 block of Cherry Road and began honking his horn.
Copeland said Webb has not cooperated in the investigation of the shooting, giving officers at least three different versions of events.
Webb currently is under guard at Freeman Health System and will be discharged soon. When he is released, he will be returned to the Newton County jail on a parole violation.
Webb was convicted of three felony drug counts in Jasper County and was sentenced to seven years in prison in February 2012, according to court records. After receiving long-term drug treatment in prison, he was released on parole Jan. 18.