NEWPORT, Ark. — Arkansas authorities found the body of a 25-year-old woman who disappeared Wednesday when she went for a jog and said she was murdered, according to reports.
Volunteers joined Jackson County deputies to search for Sydney Sutherland near Newport. Her body was discovered about 2:00 p.m. Friday near her home, Fox 16 Little Rock reported.
Deputies have taken a suspect into custody. He was expected to be charged with homicide in her death, the station reported.
“We do have a suspect in custody at this time,” Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas said during a news conference, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “However, I can’t release his name until he’s formally charged.”
He said the suspect was a farmer from Jonesboro.
The man and Sutherland knew each other, Fox 16 reported.
The parents of Sydney Sutherland’s boyfriend confirmed in a Facebook post that the body found Friday belonged to Sutherland and that an arrest had been made, KAIT-TV reported.
Sutherland took her cellphone with her when she went for the jog.
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 as part of the investigation.
Sydney Sutherland vanished from her hometown on Wednesday after going for a jog. (Facebook)
Lucas 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.”
Quake Lewellyn, 28, a farmer from Jonesboro, was identified as the suspect taken into custody on suspicion of capital murder, KARK reported.
Sheriff Lucas told reporters Friday afternoon that Lewellyn was familiar with Sutherland, though details of their connection were are not immediately clear.
The Sheriff’s office major lead was Sutherland’s cellphone, which was found Thursday evening about a quarter-mile from her home, KAIT reported.
Sutherland worked at the Harris Medical Center in Newport and was remembered as a friendly and outgoing person who put her family first.
“She’s very close to her family,” Jennifer Eddington, a co-worker, told WMC5.
“We just know that she wouldn’t leave on her own without contacting somebody; that’s not her nature at all.”
Sheriff Lucas said Sutherland’s death hit him especially hard because he knows her family.
“It’s taken a toll, it really has,” he said.
“Just because I know the people of this county. I know this family personally. I know this young lady personally. I’ve known her and watched her grow up. It hits me personally,” he said.