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Missouri Police Chief Says ‘Significant Advances’ Made In Case Of Couple Found Shot Dead On Porch

Willard Police Chief Tom McClain told Oxygen.com that there was a “good possibility” the investigation of the shooting deaths of Alex Chute and Brianna Sproul could be “wrapping” up in the next few weeks.

By Jill Sederstrom
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Police in Missouri say they're getting closer to solving the mysterious deaths of a couple who were gunned down on their porch earlier this month.

Authorities have been investigating the deaths of Alex Chute, 28, and Brianna Sproul, 30, who were found dead on their porch in the town of Willard, Missouri on Saturday, Nov. 14 with multiple gunshot wounds.

“There have been significant advances over the course of the last week to the extent that we’re thinking that there’s a good possibility that we could be wrapping it up in the next week or two,” Willard Police Chief Tom McClain told Oxygen.com Monday.

The grisly discovery was initially made by a woman who lived next door to the couple. McClain said the neighbor went outside that Saturday morning to get her paper and saw “one of the subjects on the porch.” She said she thought the woman had fallen and rushed over to help.

When she arrived, she saw both victims lying on the porch and called the police. McClain said authorities believe the couple “had been there for some time.”

They were last seen alive around 11 p.m. the night before, he said.

McClain declined to discuss whether they had identified any possible suspects in the case but said authorities are making significant progress in the investigation. 

On Thursday night, Willard Police and the Missouri State Highway Patrol executed a search warrant at a home in Springfield to look for evidence, according to local radio station KTTS. Authorities have not revealed who the home belonged to or for what they may have been searching.

McClain told Oxygen.com that police believe the couple was targeted but declined to say whether authorities believe the primary focus had been on Chute or Sproul.

Court records indicate that Chute had been in a drawn-out custody battle with his ex-wife at the time he was killed, local station KY3 reported earlier this month. Chute had filed for divorce from his then-wife in 2018.

Chute’s mother, Lisa Pini, told The Springfield News-Leader that her son had “absolutely loved” being a father to his 4-year-old daughter.

“His daughter was just his everything. He was very good with her,” she told the paper. “He loved to play with her.”

Pini said her son had grown up in Ballwin, Missouri, not far from St. Louis, but had moved to Willard because of a work opportunity. It was there he met Sproul, who Pini described as “very nice and very sweet,” and that the two fell in love.

The couple had been engaged when they were killed.

Pini described her son as someone who was “just loved by everybody” and will be “sorely missed.”

“I just want people to know that there are good people in this world, and unfortunately they are taken away from us too soon,” Pini said

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