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Man who reported woman’s death on I-135 arrested in connection with domestic violence reports

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at 4:45 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, at 7:06 p.m.

How to help

Donations to help pay for Rebecca Stauder’s funeral can be mailed to:

Cahall Funeral Home

6357 State Route 125

Georgetown, Ohio 45121

Twice in the months before she died, police documents show, Rebecca Stauder called 911 to report her boyfriend had attacked her in the house they shared in northeast Wichita.

Stauder’s boyfriend, James Scott Powers, is the same person who reported that Stauder shot herself to death shortly after 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 as she sat in a truck next to I-135 at the exit for 53rd Street North following a concert at Hartman Arena.

Park City police are still investigating the death of Stauder. While an autopsy confirmed she died of a gunshot wound, investigators say they aren’t sure whether she committed suicide or was killed by someone else.

Powers was questioned by Park City police, Police Chief Phil Bostian said, then was arrested the following morning by Wichita police on an outstanding warrant related to an incident that occurred on Nov. 20 at 2430 N. Charlotte Court.

“We released him because we didn’t have charges on him at that time,” Bostian said.

Stauder, 43, called 911 early on the morning of Nov. 20 and reported that Powers, also 43, grabbed her left arm during an argument. The action caused minor visible bruising, according to a police document.

Stauder said Powers also broke the legs off a coffee table and broke her bedroom headboard. He was gone by the time officers arrived.

On Christmas Day, Stauder reported that her boyfriend pushed her into the wall after breaking the door to the house on Charlotte Court. She had no visible injuries and he left before police arrived.

Bostian on Thursday would not release many details of Stauder’s death.

“We’re actively investigating it,” he said.

Officers responding to Powers’ 911 call late on the night of Feb. 7 found Stauder dead in the passenger seat of a white pickup being driven by Powers, Bostian said.

“He told the officers she had shot herself,” Bostian said.

Stauder’s children, all adults, are making arrangements to have their mother returned to her native Ohio for burial. They do not have the money to pay for her funeral, said Lauren Gardner, one of her daughters.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

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