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An Arkansas farmer accused of raping and killing a nurse, then joining a search group to find her after she was reported missing, slammed into her with his pickup truck while she was jogging, according to new court documents.
Quake Lewellyn, 28, has been charged with capital murder, rape, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse in the death of 25-year-old Sydney Sutherland.
Sutherland disappeared Aug.19 while jogging on a rural Jackson County road,
An unidentified person called the Jackson County sheriff’s office around 7 p.m. that night to report that Sutherland was missing, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com.
A community search party was quickly formed to try to find the 25-year-old—an effort which Lewellyn joined—before her body was discovered in a rural field days later, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports.
According to the affidavit in the case, Lewellyn told police he had seen Sutherland running down the road before her disappearance.
Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas told the paper last month that Sutherland and Lewellyn had known each other, but not “particularly well.” Both had once gone to the same high school, local station KATV reports.
The day after she disappeared, authorities found her iPhone “in a field along Jackson County Road 41 South” where she had been jogging. The phone was found just 1.3 miles from her home.
During a “consent search” of Lewellyn’s phone, investigators found a location services application that tracked the phone’s geographic location, giving investigators clues about where the 28-year-old had been around the time Sutherland disappeared, according to the affidavit.
Authorities used the information gathered from Lewellyn’s phone to find Sutherland’s body in a deserted field on Aug. 21.
“Sutherland’s deceased body was located just a few yards from where the location services application indicated Lewellyn’s location,” the affidavit said.
The same day the body was discovered, investigators said Sutherland told authorities that he had spotted Sutherland jogging along the road, rammed her with his pickup truck and then loaded her into the truck. He is accused of taking her to a remote field outside Newport, where he took off her shorts, raped her and then buried her at the location.
He was arrested the same day the body was discovered.
Lewellyn’s arrest comes just a few years after his family was named the 2016 Jackson County Farm Family of the Year, according to the the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
Together, three generations of the family—including Lewellyn’s father and grandfather—farmed 5,800 acres across four Arkansas counties, the paper reported at the time. Lewellyn also had his own farm in the area.
Less than a month after he was arrested, his wife of two years filed for divorce citing “general indignities” as the reason for the split, according to KATV.
The couple did not have any children together.
Lewellyn is currently being held in the Randolph County Jail after being moved from the Jackson County Jail in September due to safety concerns.
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