THE WEEK’S MOST-READ STORIES: Legal charges, missing baby and Missouri football

By Alysha Love
October 23, 2011 | 8:31 p.m. CDT
Murder, child endangerment, wrongful death and excessive force allegations peppered many of the stories that were popular among Missourian readers this past week, and stories about Missouri football and the missing Kansas City baby were on the list as well. These are the 10 most-read stories posted last week on, according to Google Analytics data:

Missouri junior defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, a high school recruit named the top-rated player in the state in 2009, has finally made it to the starting lineup after spending two years boosting his grades to be able to play for the Tigers. Richardson replaced senior Terrell Resonno, who was out with a sprained knee, in Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State. (3,357 page views)

A 29-year-old Joplin woman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree child endangerment in connection with the death of her boyfriend’s nephew. The couple was playing drinking games with 11-year-old Tyler Fecko that led to his death from alcohol poisoning in July 2009. (2,718 page views)

FBI agents, police and investigators scoured the Irwin family home in Kansas City on Wednesday in the ongoing search for clues about missing 10-month-old Lisa Irwin. The team brought in bomb detection equipment though there was no sign of explosives in the house, a Kansas City police spokesman said, but some bomb detection devices use X-ray technology to see something hidden inside. (2,202 page views)

Switching conference insignias has been a process at Nebraska and Colorado — and it might be a challenge MU will soon face if Missouri switches conferences, as well. Letterheads, backpacks, clocks and pennants have been changed out and memorabilia commemorating the change has been sold as the schools made the conference switch. (2,101 page views)

A story about two additional internal affairs investigations into the officer fired last month for using excessive force against a prisoner garnered quite a few comments about the Columbia Police Department and the use of force by the police. Former officer Rob Sanders is under investigation for forcing a prisoner to the floor and dragging him by his shirt as well as a potential policy violation in pulling over two members of Citizens for Justice. (1,426 page views)

The parents of a woman who died while trying to help a man in floodwater during a rainstorm in 2008 have filed a wrongful death suit against Columbia, The Links and Lindsey Construction for allowing traffic on Clark Lane while a box culvert was under construction. The couple’s daughter, 20-year-old Michelle Runkle, waded into Hominy Creek to assist 23-year-old Christopher Crocker, who was eventually rescued by emergency responders. (1,067 page views)

The mother of missing Kansas City baby Lisa Irwin told the “Today” show on Monday that she had consumed enough boxed wine to be drunk the night she says her daughter disappeared. Deborah Bradley also altered her telling of the night’s events from what she reported to authorities: She said the last time she saw Lisa was when she put her to bed — three hours and 50 minutes earlier than the time she told police. (1,053 page views)

Occupy COMO protesters adopted an official statement of the group’s mission and beliefs Tuesday. “We are leaderless,” the statement read. “We come as individuals, autonomous, with distinct concerns about a variety of issues. We stand as one people, united, against a system, which allows for the domination of the vast majority of the population by a wealthy few.” (1,052 page views)

Big 12 Conference basketball coaches commented on conference realignment and the possibility of Missouri leaving the Big 12, with many coaches just hoping for a quick resolution to the situation. “If they think they can go elsewhere because it’s better for them, let them go, and we’re going to be fine because there are people out there that want to be here,” Texas coach Rick Barnes said. (939 page views)

MU’s enrollment has been the fastest-growing for undergraduates among all institutions belonging to the Association of American Universities as well as members of the Big 12. Among the 61 AAU schools, MU showed 26 percent growth from 2002 to 2011 and its undergraduate enrollment was more than twice that of Texas Tech and Texas A&M universities, which had the next-highest growth figures in the Big 12. (916 page views)