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Friday, February 19, 2021

Updated: Belton homicide suspect now in custody!

Thanks to the cooperative efforts of the public, the Metro Squad, the Belton Police Department and the US Marshals Service, Charles Baldwin Jr. was taken into custody in Grain Valley, Mo on the morning of 2-19-2021.

Charles Baldwin is charged with 2nd Degree Murder and other crimes in the death of Christopher Bell on 2-12-2021. Charles Baldwin is currently being held on a cash only bond of $500,000.

The Belton Police Department would like to take this opportunity to clarify some misinformation surrounding the investigation of the homicide from 2-12-2021.

In regard to the assertion that representatives from this department failed to provide information to a local reporter; the reporter sent an e mail to the Chief of Police and the Public Information Officer on 2-18-2021 well after business hours but then ran his story at 1 AM stating that these representatives would not respond to e mails.

Within hours of the crime, the Metro Squad was assembled and began working on the case through the collaborative efforts of investigators from throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. During the course of that investigation, both Nicole Hobbs and Charles Baldwin were interviewed at the Belton Police station by Metro Squad investigators. Neither Nicole Hobbs nor Charles Baldwin was under arrest at this point. At the time of the interviews, there was not enough probable cause to detain either of them further and they were released.

After a search warrant was executed and additional evidence was obtained, officers were able to locate and arrest Nicole Hobbs. Charles Baldwin was nowhere to be found at this point so a stop and hold order was issued. 

On Monday 2-15-2021, the Metro Squad was disbanded and the case was turned back over to the Belton Police.

On Tuesday 2-16-2021, it was determined there was enough evidence to charge Charles Baldwin in this case, the Cass County Prosecutor’s Office obtained a warrant for his arrest. 

As Charles Baldwin was in hiding, the Belton Police Department enlisted the assistance of the public and the U.S. Marshal’s Service to get him into custody safely. Charles Baldwin was taken into custody without incident in the early morning hours of 2-19-2021.