Sydney Sutherland: Suspect in death knew victim and joined search party Facebook group

Sydney Sutherland: Suspect in death knew victim and joined search party Facebook group

24 Aug    Finance News
Quake Lewellyn in the custody of the authorities: (Jackson County Sheriff's Office)
Quake Lewellyn in the custody of the authorities: (Jackson County Sheriff’s Office)

The farmer accused of killing Arkansas resident Sydney Sutherland was known to the victim and joined a Facebook group dedicated to finding her after she went missing.

Sutherland was last seen running on State Highway 18, near Newport, Arkansas, on Wednesday, and the 25-year-old’s body was found on Friday following a two day search involving helicopters and K-9 units, according to the Daily Mail.

Quake Lewellyn was arrested later on Friday evening on suspicion of capital murder, but the authorities did not reveal what caused them to detain the 28-year-old, according to People.

The family of the victim’s boyfriend claimed that Mr Lewellyn confessed to the crime, but this was not confirmed by the authorities.

Over the weekend, Jackson County sheriff David Lucas told reporters that that Mr Lewellyn and Sutherland knew each other, but did not elaborate further on their alleged link.

The 28-year-old is also listed as a member of a Facebook group that was set up to find Sutherland after she went missing on Wednesday, according to the The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Although more than 200 volunteers joined the search for Sutherland, there was no indication that Mr Lewellyn was part of the group that looked along the highway last week.

The suspect was filmed arriving at the Jackson County Courthouse on Monday wearing a bullet-proof vest, and was hurried into the building.

According to journalist Mitchell McCoy, who was at the courthouse on Monday, Jackson County prosecutor Henry Boyce confirmed that Mr Lewellyn may face the death penalty if he is found guilty.

Mr Boyce said: “Capital murder only carries two punishments. That’s life without and death and at this point both are on the table.”

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After Sutherland’s body was found on Friday, the sheriff said that the search for Sutherland was emotional for many of the local residents, and added: “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. I’ve known her and watched her grow up. It hits me personally.”

Mr Lewellyn is being held without bond at the Jackson County Jail and has his arraignment scheduled for 1 October.

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