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story.lead_photo.caption Ricky Crisp

SPRINGDALE -- A Garfield man convicted of second-degree murder for the 1998 deaths of his daughter and a baby was arrested over the weekend in a drug trafficking investigation.

Police said Ricky Crisp, 44, of Garfield and Rickey Bickford, 58, of Cassville, Mo., were arrested Saturday on charges of drug trafficking and conspiracy while transporting 4 pounds of methamphetamine through Northwest Arkansas.

More than two decades ago, Crisp was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder for the deaths of his 16-month-old daughter, Vicky Crisp, and her 4-month-old cousin, Sidney Pippen, according to records from Benton County Circuit Court.

The two girls died April 25, 1998, from heat exhaustion and dehydration after they were left in an unventilated car for several hours, according to reports. The car was parked along a dirt road northeast of Bentonville while Crisp and Justin Griffith searched for edible mushrooms in a nearby cave and the surrounding area.

Crisp was sentenced to 14 years in prison March 25, 1999, and was released on parole in December 2002.

Griffith pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the girls' deaths and was placed on 10 years of probation. He was later sentenced to six years in prison for violating the terms of his probation. Griffith was released on parole in 2002.

Detectives with the 4th Judicial District Drug Task Force, which covers Washington and Madison counties, stopped Crisp and Bickford as they were driving through Springdale, according to a news release from the Springdale Police Department.

Acting on a tip, a detective found a black Chevrolet Cruze traveling east on U.S. 412 and followed it from Tontitown to Springdale, according to a preliminary arrest report. The car crossed the centerline, and Springdale police and Arkansas State Police troopers stopped the car.

The two men were questioned separately. Crisp said Bickford had paid him $100 to use his car for a trip to Tulsa, but said he didn't know Bickford went to pick up methamphetamines, according to the report. Crisp gave the detective permission to search the car, and four packages of meth were found in a pressure cooker in the trunk, police said.

Bickford denied having any knowledge of the methamphetamine, according to the report. Bickford gave the detective the pass code to his phone, and the detective saw several messages between Bickford and other subjects about making the trip to Tulsa and distributing the meth.

Bickford was released Sunday on $5,000 bond.

Crisp was being held Monday in the Washington County jail in lieu of $3,500 bond.

Rickey Bickford

Metro on 08/20/2019

Print Headline: Arkansas man convicted in deaths of 2 children left in hot car arrested on drug charges

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Archived Comments

  • Jfish
    August 20, 2019 at 8:30 a.m.

    Should have never been released, when you leave a hot child or pet to die on a car, you should serve a minimum of 10 or 20 mandatory years. In these guys' case, they were searching for mushrooms, the death penalty would have too good for them.

  • mrcharles
    August 20, 2019 at 8:38 a.m.

    Time of the year to lock him up in a hot car for the day.

  • FollowDaMoney
    August 20, 2019 at 8:51 a.m.

    Fish, you mean like the judge in Hot Springs who left his son in the car to die. Police refused to charge him. No mug shot. Still adjudicating cases to this day. He killed his boy and walked.

  • Jfish
    August 20, 2019 at 9:27 a.m.

    Agree Follow, total miscarriage of justice. Negligence of this degree should be a felony regardless of your social class or occupation.

  • Drae
    August 20, 2019 at 11:29 a.m.

    Served 3 years on 2 deaths. AR should be so proud of their system. Family court system even worse. Congratulations. What a joke.

  • AuntPetunia
    August 20, 2019 at 2:59 p.m.

    This makes me so angry I can’t see straight. Three years for inflicting absolute torture on two innocent babies is such an insult. It is mind-boggling that this idiot is still involved in meth, the very substance he was intoxicated on when he left the babies to die.

    Some people are beyond help. Please put him in a hot car while strapped in a seat for 12 hours.

  • Jfish
    August 20, 2019 at 3:12 p.m.

    Agree Auntpetunia, cannot imagine the suffering these children endured. I would rank crimes like this right up there with Charles Manson, heartless animals.

  • titleist10
    August 20, 2019 at 4:25 p.m.

    Our justice system what a joke

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