Authorities in the US state of Missouri have charged a 45-year-old man on Thursday (30 November) with stabbing his wife to death after their daughter told a school counsellor that she had found a body in her basement.

The 7-year-old girl told the counsellor on Wednesday (29 November), that the day before, she found "lots of blood" and glimpse of a body in the basement with a "stab on the back," the New York Post website reported.

She told a forensic interviewer that the face was covered but that the sweater on the body belonged to her mother and added that she "didn't want to be next".

Benjamin Byers of Kansas City was charged with second-degree murder, armed criminal action, abandonment of a corpse and child endangerment in the death of Melissa Byers, 47. The bond is set at $500,000 (£371130.00). No attorney is listed for him in online court records.

A police detective in the probable cause statement wrote that when the girl was leaving the basement, she received a call from her mother's boyfriend, who said that he was coming over.

The girl told investigators that her father started acting "suspicious", and closed all the blinds and locked the door.

According to the probable cause statement, it did not mention whether the girl's father and mother were estranged.

Darin Snapp, a police spokesman told the website that "as far as we know they still lived together".
The statement read that the girl did not tell the boyfriend or the father that she had seen a body in the basement but told the forensic interviewer that her father had been acting "weird".

Once the girl's school contacted the police, officers were sent to the home. Benjamin said he did not know where his wife was, the detective wrote.

The officers said that they had found blood throughout the house and a section of the carpet appeared to have been removed from the dining room, the website reported.

The police obtained a search warrant, and found the woman's body in the basement. It was covered with carpet, plastic, sheets and clothing and bloody drag marks could be seen on the basement stairs.

According to police, efforts had been made to clean up the dining room, living room, kitchen and bathroom.

Court records stated that Benjamin had previously been on probation since January. He had pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated as a persistent offender and had served 30 days in jail.
Melissa Byers was also imprisoned from March 2014 to September 2016 in Missouri after she pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and forgery.