Sydney Sutherland had been walking down Country Road 41 in Jackson County when her alleged killer, Quake Lewellyn, passed her in his pick-up truck, turned around and abducted her before he raped, killed and buried her, police said during a probable cause hearing.
Lewellyn, a 28-year-old local farmer who faces charges of capital murder, rape and kidnapping, appeared in the Jackson County Courthouse last week for his first court hearing in connection with Sutherland’s killing. He is being held on no bond.
Lewellyn also allegedly joined a Facebook group dedicated to finding another person who vanished while jogging shortly before allegedly committing his crime, Fox 23 reported.
Mitchell McCoy, one of few reporters allowed in the courtroom, shared information about the hearing live on Twitter, including details from the testimony of an Arkansas State Police special agent, who she said shared how Sutherland and Lewellyn were connected.
Two dozen members of Sutherland’s family attended the hearing and “visibly upset,” McCoy said. Lewellyn’s arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 1, McCoy said.
The 24-year-old jogger had been missing for days when her remains turned up.She had been working as a nurse at Unity Health Harris Medical Center. Loved ones remembered her for her “beautiful smile, sparkling eyes, kind heart and loving spirit,” her obituary read.
Hundreds of community volunteers searched for her following her disappearance, until investigators recovered her body “north of her residence,” according to KARK. Authorities confirmed through a DNA test that the remains were that of Sutherland.
Hundreds of community volunteers searched for her following her disappearance, until Friday afternoon when investigators recovered her body “north of her residence,” according to KARK. Authorities confirmed through a DNA test Saturday that the remains were that of Sutherland.
Many locals knew Sutherland, including Sheriff David Lucas, who said, “I know this family personally. I know this young lady personally. I’ve known her and watched her grow up. It hits me personally.”
Those who knew Lewellyn personally said they were surprised by his arrest because “he was a nice guy,” KARK reported.