Details released in killing of jogger Sydney Sutherland

Woman struckby truck, raped

Police tape
Police tape

Sydney Sutherland's killer rammed her with a pickup as she jogged along a rural highway before raping and burying her in a field outside Newport, according to recently filed court documents.

The suspect, Quake Lewellyn, 28, of Jonesboro, is awaiting trial on charges of capital murder, rape, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse. He remains jailed without bail and he is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 29.

A probable-cause affidavit filed Thursday afternoon stated the Jackson County sheriff's office received a call about Sutherland's disappearance about 7 p.m. Aug. 19. The affidavit doesn't reveal who made the call.

News of Sutherland's disappearance spread across northeast Arkansas, and a community search party was formed to look for her. Lewellyn was among those who took part in the search effort, authorities said.

Sutherland, 25, a Tuckerman native, was a registered nurse at Unity Health-Harris Medical Center. She had just passed her boards months earlier, her friends said.

Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas said last month that Lewellyn saw Sutherland jogging as he drove by, made a U-turn and then attacked her. Lucas also said it was his understanding that Lewellyn and Sutherland knew each other, but not "particularly well."

A message left Friday with Lucas was not returned.

Prosecutor Henry Boyce and Lewellyn's defense attorney Bill James also didn't return messages.

Lewellyn was employed through his family's farming business, according to court documents. A story published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette four years ago stated that the Lewellyn family was recognized as the 2016 Jackson County Farm Family of the Year.

On Aug. 20, authorities found Sutherland's iPhone "in a field along Jackson County Road 41 South," located about 1.3 miles from her home, according to the affidavit.

One day after locating the victim's phone, authorities in Jackson announced they had discovered Sutherland's body in a deserted field and had arrested Lewellyn.

Creston Hutton, a senior special agent with the Arkansas State Police who investigated the case, wrote in the affidavit that Sutherland's body was located after a "consent search" of the suspect's phone. The "location services application" on Lewellyn's phone led to the area where Sutherland was buried, Hutton wrote.

"Sutherland's deceased body was located just a few yards from where the location services application indicated Lewellyn's location," the affidavit stated.

Lewellyn was read his Miranda rights and subsequently admitted to killing Sutherland, police said.

The suspect told investigators that he saw Sutherland jogging on County Road 41 South, more than a mile from her home, and then struck her with his pickup, according to the affidavit.

Lewellyn loaded her into the vehicle and drove her to a remote location, police said. That's where he raped and buried her, Hutton wrote.

The Arkansas State Crime Lab determined that Sutherland's death was a homicide. The affidavit did not reveal, specifically, how Sutherland died and Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said he couldn't comment on the victim's manner of death.

Lewellyn is being held at the Randolph County jail in Pocahontas. Lucas said in September that Lewellyn was transferred from the Jackson County jail to a different jail 50 miles away for safety reasons.

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