Missouri Man Found Dead in Burned Car Had Been Missing Since 1991; Had Assumed Wife’s Identity During Disappearance

missing missouri man dead burned car
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Apr. 6 2023, Published 11:03 a.m. ET

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A man found dead in a burned car in Missouri last month has been identified as a man who has been missing since 1991, was already declared dead and was living under his deceased wife’s identity, according to authorities.

On March 19, officers discovered the body of Stephen Winn, 71, in a burning vehicle near a Budget Inn hotel in Lebanon, KOAM reported.

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A DNA test was conducted on the body and officials confirmed on April 2 that the body was Winn, who was living with his wife, Khristine Winn, and their children in Kansas City, Missouri, when he vanished in 1991, according to KOAM.

Winn’s family never heard from him again and had him declared dead, officials said.


While investigators were searching the burnt-out vehicle, they found items that led them to a Camdenton, Missouri, resident named Khristine Bechard, which was the maiden name of Winn’s wife before they were married, KSHB reported.

Police contacted the family of Khristine Winn, who told police that she died five years ago in 2018.

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Investigators determined that Stephen Winn assumed Khristine Winn’s identity, remarried and then lived under the name Khristine Bechard, according to KSHB.

Officials said additional evidence found inside the vehicle and documents found at the Winn’s residence led police to believe that Winn’s death was self-inflicted. However, the formal autopsy results are still pending.


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