A Jackson County farmer has been charged with murder after confessing to kidnapping, raping, and killing an Arkansas nurse who disappeared while jogging last week, reports say.
Sydney Sutherland, 25, was reported missing last Wednesday (Aug. 19) after she did not return home from her afternoon run. Two days later, her body was found near where she resided, following a search party involving volunteers and police officers, Fox 16 Little Rock reported.
Quake Lewellyn, a 28-year-old farmer, was arrested on suspicion of capital murder soon after Sutherland’s body was discovered. During the recovery search, he was listed as a member of a Facebook page created to help look for Sutherland before her discovery.
He reportedly confessed to killing her when officers interviewed him about Sutherland’s disappearance.
A special agent with the Arkansas State Police said Lewellyn was traveling westbound on County Road 41 when he saw Sutherland walking by. Lewellyn then turned around before he abducted her, put her in the back of his pickup truck, and sexually assaulted her, reports continued.
According to the station, Southerland’s body was positively identified by authorities over the weekend.
BREAKING VIDEO: Quake Lewellyn arrives at the Jackson County Courthouse for arraignment proceedings for the alledged killing of Sydney Sutherland: pic.twitter.com/wXCDJLKzMf
— Northeast Arkansas News (@KJNBNews) August 24, 2020
On Monday, Lewellyn entered the Jackson County Courthouse wearing an orange jumpsuit and a bulletproof vest for his first court appearance — a probable cause hearing.
The young jogger’s family was also in attendance at the courthouse that saw a judge find cause to charge Lewellyn, who was remanded without bond until his arraignment on Oct. 1.
Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas stated during an earlier press conference that Lewellyn knew Sutherland, but the nature of their relationship was unclear. He mentioned how difficult the case was for him because the victim went to school with his daughters.
“It’s taken a toll, it really has. Just because I know the people of this county, I know this family personally. I know this young lady personally,” he told Jonesboro’s KAIT. “I’ve known her and watched her grow up. It hits me personally. And that’s another reason why we want to work so hard and try to find her.”
A candlelight vigil was held in Tuckerman, located about 100 miles northeast of Little Rock on Sunday to remember Sutherland, the station reported.