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Body found in Jackson County believed to be missing woman; man in custody

by William Sanders | August 21, 2020 at 9:24 p.m.
Police tape

A body found by Jackson County deputies on Friday afternoon is believed to be of a woman missing since Wednesday, and a man is in custody in connection with her death, according to Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas.

Sydney Sutherland, 25, was last seen at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday going for a jog near Arkansas 18 between Newport and Grubbs, according to a Jackson County emergency management Facebook post.

The body was found by deputies at 2 p.m. Friday in an area north of Sutherland's residence.

Lucas would not confirm that the body was Sutherland’s or name the man in custody.

“We do have a suspect in custody at this time,” Lucas said via a KAIT-TV news livestream of a press conference. “However, I can’t release his name until he’s formally charged.”

Lucas said the two knew each other, and that the suspect was a farmer from Jonesboro, but he did not elaborate further.

Rumors about the incident made the investigation more difficult, according to Lucas.

“When the rumors start hitting, our phones start ringing, and that slows us down some,” Lucas said.

The body was sent to the state Crime Laboratory for identification, according to Lucas.

The sheriff said he was particularly impressed by the community’s reaction to the situation and thanked all of the agencies and volunteers involved.

“It’s amazing how much love is in the community when something tragic happens, and they just start coming out wanting to help,” Lucas said. “And that’s what Jackson County is. It’s just like when Jonesboro had the tornado. Everybody started coming out.”

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