SALINA (KSNT) – One man is being charged by the Salina Police Department in connection to the disappearance and death of a Salina resident.

Joseph Benton Houseman, 48, of Salina, has been charged by the SPD in relation to the murder case of Nathan Philip Thompson, 44, also of Salina. The charges against Houseman include:

  • First degree murder
  • Aggravated arson
  • Arson
  • Felony interference with law enforcement and criminal desecration

Houseman, who had been incarcerated at the Saline County Jail on unrelated charges since June 16, was named as a suspect in the case for the death of Thompson on July 29, 2022. The investigation will continue under the direction of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Those who had contact with Thompson since June 1, 2022 are asked to come forward and contact the SPD at 785-826-7210 or call Crimestoppers at 785-825-TIPS.

Thompson was listed as missing and endangered earlier this year on June 13. The Salina Fire Department responded to a trailer home fire on the 1600 block of Elgin in Salina where Thompson was living at the time. However, it was later found out that Thompson had not been seen for a week by neighbors and family members. Thompson’s absence from a court hearing on June 14 prompted the SPD to start an investigation and it was believed at the time that foul play was involved in the disappearance.

On July 19, the Ellsworth County Sheriff’s Office was sent to a rural area in Ellsworth County after a body had been discovered in a field. Human remains were found later “in an extreme state of decomposition.” The KBI was notified and investigated the area. An autopsy on July 21 confirmed that the individual had been killed and the death was listed as a homicide.

On July 22, dental records were compared between Thompson and the deceased. This confirmed that the body belonged to Thompson.