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Body in river identified as girl, 14

By ArkansasOnline

This article was published May 20, 2013 at 12:10 p.m.

This undated handout photo provided by the Walnut Ridge (Ark.) Police Department shows Sidney Nicole Randall. Authorities are searching the 14-year-ol...

A girl’s body found Saturday in the Black River near the line between Lawrence and Randolph counties has been identified as that of a 14-year-old missing since March 10, the Lawrence County sheriff's office said Monday.

The body of Sidney Nicole Randall, whose mother reported her missing after she couldn’t be found in their Walnut Ridge home, was found after a fisherman called 911 to report the body, which was floating in the river near Old Davidsonville State Park and was partially tangled in a treetop, Sheriff Jody Dotson said.

Lawrence and Randolph county sheriff’s deputies and state Department of Parks and Tourism authorities met the fisherman, who led them to the girl’s body, Dotson said.

Authorities recovered the body, which looked like that of a teenage girl, and contacted the state Crime Laboratory to help identify her and determine her cause of death, he said. Authorities couldn’t immediately tell whether the body suffered trauma, he said.

Arkansas State Police officials had issued a Morgan Nick Amber Alert for Sidney after authorities found the body of her stepfather on a farm road March 11 in Lawrence County.

Police said John Cornell, 35, of Walnut Ridge apparently had shot himself. A backhoe operator found Cornell’s body near his red Ford pickup just off Lawrence County Road 438.

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