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story.lead_photo.caption Carl Carter Jr. is shown with a picture of him and his mother, slain real estate agent Beverly Carter. ( Photo by Sydney Frames )

The family of a central Arkansas woman who was kidnapped and murdered is suing the real estate firm where she worked, saying the company failed to provide her with training, guidance and tools to keep her safe on the job.

A lawsuit filed Sept. 29 by Beverly Carter's husband and two sons alleges that Crye-Leike Real Estate knew that she faced "life-threatening" dangers while working in the real-estate industry. The firm never trained her to handle such situations or enabled her to prevent them, the suit says.

"Criminally, this matter has been adjudicated; two individuals have been convicted of murder, and have been rightfully imprisoned," the suit's introduction reads. "However, Crye-Leike has not been held responsible for its part in this tragedy."

Arron Lewis convicted of kidnapping, killing Beverly Carter

Larger versions | In-depth look at case

Carter disappeared in September 2014 after driving to Scott to show a home to a client, later identified by police as Arron Lewis. Her body was discovered bound in duct tape and buried behind a concrete plant where Lewis once worked.

Lewis was sentenced to two life terms in prison. His then-wife, Crystal Lowery, pleaded guilty in Carter's death in exchange for a reduced sentence of 30 years and the requirement that she testify against her husband.

The suit states that Crye-Leike never ran background checks on potential home buyers or encouraged its employees to do so. The firm also didn't encourage its Realtors to travel in groups when showing rural homes or homes to strangers, or encourage them arrange preliminary meetings to prevent acts of deception, according to the filing.

Further, the suit says, the company didn't tell employees to use technology, such as cellphone applications, emergency buttons or GPS tracking, that would alert authorities if they encountered danger on the job.

The suit said one to three unidentified individuals and entities, in addition to Crye-Leike, are believed to be involved or have legal liability in Carter's death.

Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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Archived Comments

  • Jabriko
    October 12, 2017 at 4:47 p.m.

    Let's not get carried away. Was she the only one that didn't understand the amount of drug money involved in propping up real estate?

  • RMiller1961
    October 12, 2017 at 4:59 p.m.

    This is just ridiculous. It was a cruel act of violence but to sue her employer is nothing more than trying to get some money. Shame on you.

  • Arkygambler
    October 12, 2017 at 5:10 p.m.

    I feel for her family, but her employer is not liable for her death. She decided to show the home by herself. Common sense should have made her more cautious. Sometimes greed gets in the way of common sense.

  • Jabriko
    October 12, 2017 at 5:35 p.m.

    I can understand if they're doing this to shine light on a larger problem.

  • RBBryant
    October 12, 2017 at 5:36 p.m.

    This is sad... She died a horrible death & my heart hurts for this family. However, her employer should not be held responsible & no amount of money will undo what happened.

  • AuntPetunia
    October 12, 2017 at 5:42 p.m.

    Exactly. I feel for the family, but she was a competent adult and a professional. I think the whole real estate industry has learned from this tragedy and changes have been implemented. Crye-Leike could not have reasonably foreseen this horrible crime back in 2014.

  • mookye
    October 12, 2017 at 6 p.m.

    This could happen at ANY job. I feel terrible for the family but she was an adult that knew the dangers that came with that job. I was just watching this story last night on Discovery ID. I said, "Why didn't she meet them in a public place (to make sure the wife was there) and then go to the house for sale?"! I'm sorry but her employer is not responsible for her decisions.

  • NoUserName
    October 12, 2017 at 6:45 p.m.

    Background check for potential home buyers? At what cost? I'm with everybody else - not in favor of this lawsuit.

  • PopMom
    October 12, 2017 at 6:57 p.m.

    Yep. I've got to agree with the consensus. It's very sad, but I don't think that the real estate company did anything wrong.

  • RBBrittain
    October 12, 2017 at 8:01 p.m.

    I have to agree as well, and I bought a house last year using the same Crye-Leike office she worked out of -- also not that far away from the concrete plant where her body was found. Sadly, there's a bit of risk in showing real estate to potential buyers. If you force Realtors to run background checks on all buyers, how can folks who don't clear background checks ever buy a home? Would a background check have actually uncovered Lewis & Lowery's scheme, or just prior criminal history which would NOT legally disqualify them from buying a home?