The search for an Overland Park woman reported missing by her family earlier this week has ended with the discovery of her body in Benton County, Ark., law enforcement officials announced this afternoon.
Sylvia Ann Ussery-Pearson’s body was recovered yesterday evening after investigators located a note left in the home of her estranged husband, Charles Pearson. Pearson died in a shootout near the Legends Outlets Tuesday morning after wielding a long gun at Kansas City, Kan., police officers.
Police say investigators found a note in Charles’s Lenexa home that diagrammed the location of Sylvia’s body in Arkansas, prompting authorities to search a specific area Tuesday night.
Overland Park Police Chief Frank Donchez was flanked by representatives of the FBI and the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department at a press conference Wednesday to announce Sylvia Ann’s death. Donchez noted that her family had first reported her missing Monday, August 12, and said they believed she had left her residence that morning with Charles. Following the filing of the missing person report, Overland Park police were able to make contact with Charles early the morning of Tuesday, August 13, not long after midnight. Charles was cooperative and agreed to be interviewed. Police searched his home and his car at the time as well, and he left the police station after the interview was complete.
However, after day break police got word that Charles had reached out to family and advised them that he was suicidal. He reportedly told a hotel employee in the area that he had killed his wife and was dangerous. He died in the altercation with police not long after.
Donchez said the couple had been estranged for a matter of months, with Sylvia moving to a residence in Overland Park from the home the couple had previously shared in Lenexa. Donchez noted that there had been reports of domestic violence involving Charles recently. He encouraged anyone needs help in a domestic violence situation to reach out to Safe Home.
“In my opinion, domestic violence continues to be a problem in this country,” Donchez said. “It’s a problem that we face as a society and in law enforcement. And we need to continue to work on that problem.”
He also noted that Charles had served more than two decades in the armed forces and had done two combat tours in Iraq, and speculated that PTSD may have contributed to the incident.
“In the tragic ending of Mr. Pearson, I think that we need to do more for our veterans that do return,” Donchez said. “Because I know that there are quite a few that are in crisis. This may or may not…be an unfortunate circumstance related to his service.”