A security worker at the Butterball plant in Carthage said he was stabbed while patrolling around the plant Wednesday after dark, according to the Carthage Police Department.
The incident happened about 6:15 p.m.
Police said Security Guard Brandon Goodwin was stabbed by an unknown assailant.
Goodwin was taken to a hospital in Joplin and had been released as of late Wednesday night.
Carthage Police Chief Greg Dagnan said no one was in custody as of late Thursday.
Dagnan said the incident happened outside the Butterball plant on north Main Street in Carthage. He said Goodwin told investigators two suspects jumped out from behind a large trash Dumpster and one of them stabbed him.
Both assailants then fled to the north to the wooded area along the Spring River and the railroad tracks.
“The victim said there were two assailants and at least one of them was armed,” Dagnan said. “We set up a perimeter fairly quickly with the help of Jasper County deputies and Missouri Highway Patrol troopers and had the area sealed off fairly quickly, but we didn't find anyone.”
Dagnan said Jasper County Sheriff's deputies brought in two tracking dog who was used in the search.
He said the dogs tracked on at least two different trails, but it is impossible to tell whether the dogs were on the trail of the suspects or someone else.
“It's a very difficult area to track in,” Dagnan said. “For a lot of our citizens, the railroad tracks are a shortcut from point A to point B. It's also an area where a lot of people camp. It may be a secluded area, but it sees a lot of foot traffic so it makes tracking difficult.”
Dagnan said investigators are focusing on motive.
“We don't know if the victim simply scared these people or if he knew them,” Dagnan said. “We don't think robbery was a motive so one of our focuses at this point is to determine what that motive was.”