Jefferson City, Mo. (June 23, 2016) – Attorney General Chris Koster today announced that a Cooper County jury today found Anthony “Tony” Balbirnie, 53, formerly of Springfield, Missouri, guilty of second degree murder, second degree statutory rape, tampering with physical evidence, and abandonment of a corpse in the death of a 15-year-old girl.

In September 2012, Balbirnie transported the victim to a house in Buffalo, Missouri, for sex. After consuming methamphetamines, Balbirnie killed the girl by choking her during sex. Afterwards, Balbirnie disposed of her clothes, and wrapped up the victim’s body. Balbirnie then drove the girl’s body to the Mile-Long Bridge in Benton County, Missouri, and dumped her body in Truman Lake.

“My thanks go out to the members of state and local law enforcement, and all the attorneys, for their many hours of work to get justice for this victim,” Attorney General Chris Koster said. “I hope the jury’s verdict will give the victim’s family and friends some measure of justice.”

Sentencing is set for September 1, 2016. Balbirnie faces a maximum sentence of life plus 37 years.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated the case. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Darrell Moore, Joshua Harrel, and Gregory M. Goodwin. The case was tried in front of the Honorable Donald L. Barnes in Cooper County on a change of venue.