BOURBON COUNTY (KSNT) – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Scott Police Department have arrested a person of interest connected to the murders of Melissa Mitchell and Leonard Zimmerman.

The person of interest, Dawson J. Mitchell, 23, was arrested at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 22, near the intersection of 5th St. and Judson St. in Fort Scott.

Mitchell was arrested for theft of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and ulawful possession of controlled substances. He has been booked into the Bourbon County Jail.

Mitchell is currently not being charged with the murders and the investigation is ongoing.


BOURBON COUNTY (KSNT) – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is looking for a person of interest following a double murder in Fort Scott.

According to KBI, on Tuesday, Dec. 21, at approximately 7:40 p.m., the Fort Scott Police Department received a 911 call from a subject who came home to find a female family member had been shot. When police arrived at 402 Main St. in Fort Scott, they located 48-year-old Melissa L. Mitchell.

Mitchell had died from a gunshot wound. They also discovered 53-year-old Leonard D. Zimmerman dead inside the residence.

The victims’ son, Dawson J. Mitchell, 23, of Fort Scott, is a person of interest and is wanted for questioning connected to the case. Investigators have been unable to find him.

Dawson J. Mitchell, 23

Dawson Mitchell, 23, is a white male, 5 feet, 7 inches tall, and weighs approximately 160 pounds. He has blonde hair and blue eyes. Mitchell was last seen wearing blue jeans, a brown Carhartt-style coat, and a baseball cap that is light in color on the front and dark in color on the back.

If you know the whereabouts of 23-year-old Dawson J. Mitchell, you are asked to contact the Fort Scott Police Department at 620-223-1700 or the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME. Mitchell is expected to be armed and dangerous. Do not approach him, but immediately call the police.