Quake Lewellyn charged with the murder of missing Arkansas jogger, Sydney Sutherland. Motive remains unknown. Victim was known to Jonesboro farmer suspect.
Police said the body of Sydney Claire Sutherland was discovered in Newport on Friday, following a three-day search operation using K-9 units and helicopter crews.
Sydney Sutherland was last seen on August 19 while jogging along State Hwy 18 between Newport & Grubbs around 3pm Wednesday, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. Her body was discovered two days later, Region 8 News reported.
Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas confirmed a man has been arrested in connection to her death and is expected to be charged with homicide.
Details on where exactly Sutherland’s body was found and how she was killed were not immediately released.
Jonesboro farmer suspect was known to the victim
‘We do have a suspect in custody at this time. However I can’t release his name until he’s formally charged,’ Lucas said in a press conference.
He was later identified by local news station KARK 4 on Saturday as 28-year-old Quake Lewellyn.
He has been charged one count of capital murder, according to online jail booking records cited by the outlet.
Lewellyn was taken into the Arkansas State Police Headquarters in Newport on Friday.
Police said the man is a farmer from Jonesboro and was known to the victim, but the nature of their relationship is unclear.
Prior to Friday, police had discovered Sutherland’s iPhone about a quarter-mile from her home.
She was reported to have gone running with her phone and Apple Watch.
Last seen around Newport, AR
Abducted by two males Wednesday when she went out for a run. Dark truck, enclosed back, tinted windows and big tires.
One had dark hair with a goatee
Other had blondish/brown hair pic.twitter.com/8Qc8PkIc4P
— Miss ❄️ (@melcrepps) August 20, 2020
— Madeline Astin (@WhyYouASTIN) August 21, 2020
Investigators did not reveal how they linked suspect to murder victim
A UPS driver reported to have seen Sutherland jogging in the area of Jackson County Road 41.
Other reports of a Texas truck being seen in the area were dismissed by police who said the rumor was damaging the investigation.
Her car and other items remained at home as she went on her run and she was reported missing on Wednesday evening when she didn’t return.
‘This was at 1pm on 8/19/20 at our house. She went for a walk around 230pm by her house on HWY 18. Please help us find our sassy!!’ posted sister, Summer Sutherland next to an image of the missing woman and a vehicle.
Her remains were found the next day just north of her home and the suspect was taken into custody a short time later.
The sheriff’s office has not revealed how they identified the suspect or if evidence was found at the scene.
Victim described as bright & outgoing
According to FOX16, the State Medical Examiners Office confirmed the identity of the body found Friday as Sydney Sutherland through DNA.
Her body has been sent to Arkansas Crime Lab as the investigation continues.
A bond hearing and arraignment may be as soon as Monday as after prosecutor Henry Boyce reviews the case and decides on formal charges, Fox 16 reported.
Sutherland worked as a nurse, according to her Facebook page, and lived with her boyfriend.
She worked at Harris Medical Center in Newport, where co-workers described her as bright and outgoing.
‘She’s very close to her family,’ her co-worker Jennifer Eddington told WMC5 before she was found.
‘We just know that she wouldn’t leave on her own without contacting somebody, that’s not her nature at all.’
The sheriff has praised the local efforts in the search for Sutherland in what was a ‘very tragic case’.
‘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.’
The discovery of Sydney’s body has led to an outpouring of emotion from searchers.
‘I’m sitting here trying to find the words to say and I can’t find none. No words can take away the pain Sydney’s family is feeling,’ wrote Jackson County Emergency Management on Facebook.
‘I want to thank all the hundreds of volunteers who showed up over the last 3 days and helped in any way you could. I really do appreciate it and I tried to tell you all personally but if I missed you THANK YOU!’