A 32-year-old man has been charged in the murder of 19-year-old MacKenna Milhon and his girlfriend is also facing charges in connection with the killing.
Greene County Prosecutors have charged Lonnie Leroy Williams with first degree murder and armed criminal action. They have also charged Williams’ girlfriend, Olivia Renae Vega, 23, with tampering with evidence after the murder.
“The charges announced today in this tragic case were made possible through the outstanding cooperation of the Springfield Police Department, that was investigating MacKenna’s disappearance, and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, that began investigating the homicide after MacKenna was found in Greene County just north of Springfield,” Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson said in a statement.
The probable cause statement shows that MacKenna Milhon had contacted her mother, Rachel Crook, with a text message around 1 a.m. on December 20, 2019 stating that she had been raped. A phone call took place between the two around 2:14 a.m. where Milhon said she was in Lampe, Missouri or Blue Eye, Missouri, but the call was disconnected. Crook reported MacKenna missing on December 22, 2019.
Police received a tip on December 30, 2019, that Milhon’s body was in two possible locations, with one of them being 1628 East Farm Road 88, Springfield. Detectives from both the Springfield Police Department and Greene County Sheriff’s Office responded to the location and found Milhon’s body with wounds to her neck.
An autopsy confirmed “sharp force trauma” around the neck which led to her death, consistent with “stab wounds caused by a sharp object.”
Investigators reported that Milhon was dropped off the Kum And Go at Kansas Expressway and Norton Road. Milhon was then picked up by the accused killer, Lonnie Williams, and they drove around together. Initially, Williams told police that he had stopped to have sex with Milhon on an alleyway before dropping her off at Atlantic and Main around 1 a.m. on December 20, and that was his last contact with her.
Police then say they interviewed a man on January 1, 2020, who said he was at a residence that Williams shared with Olivia Vega, and he saw Williams come into the house with bloody clothing and a knife. This man he and Vega took the clothing and knife to a location where they burned the clothing and that Vega disposed of the knife.
Police then interviewed Vega, who said she didn’t think Williams could hurt “the little girl.”
Williams was interviewed a second time where after initially denying contact with Milhon, admitted killing her. He said that he had stopped at the intersection of Farm Road 88 and State Highway H, and before getting back on the highway, claimed Milhon had started hitting him because “he lied to her about having drugs for her.” He claims that’s when he picked up a knife from the floorboard of the car and stabbed Milhon in the neck.
Williams then claimed they both exited the car, and when he approached Milhon she slapped him in the face and continued to strike him, so he stabbed her “about 3-4 more times” in the neck. He said she stumbled and fell between two buildings where he claimed to hold her until she died. He then gathered his clothes and knife, and returned to his home where he asked Vega to help him dispose of the evidence.
Williams faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole on the first degree murder charge. The press statement from the prosecutor’s office said the “investigation is ongoing and it is premature for the State to announce whether it will seek the death penalty.”
Williams is currently in the Christian County jail in connection with a probation violation related to a domestic violence conviction.
Vega could receive up to four years in prison on the tampering charge. She is being held in the Greene County Jail.
“We continue to extend our thoughts and prayers to the Milhon family,” Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott said in a statement. “This has been a long and trying couple of weeks for the family and we hope this begins the healing process for them. I would also like to thank the Prosecutors Office for their assistance with this investigation as well as the collaboration between Greene County Detectives and the Springfield Police Department.”