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Sydney Sutherland, Arkansas Nurse Slain While Jogging, And Her Accused Killer Had Been Friends On Facebook
Quake Lewellyn told investigators he barely knew Sydney Sutherland, but investigators discovered the two had gone to the same small Arkansas high school and had been friends on Facebook before she was killed.
Lewellyn—who is facing charges of capital murder, rape, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse in the slaying—initially told investigators that he barely knew the 25-year-old Sutherland, but investigators soon learned that wasn’t the case.
Witnesses told investigators that the two had gone to the same, small Tuckerman high school, which typically had a graduating class of “less than 50 students,” according to an affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com.
Sutherland and Lewellyn, 28, had also been friends on Facebook, until Lewellyn “recently” unfriended her, authorities said.
“Information that is being requested by Facebook with this warrant will give us the exact time and date of when Llewellyn de-friended Sutherland,” Arkansas State Police Sgt. Ramey Lovan wrote in one of a series of affidavits filed in the case last week.
Sutherland disappeared Aug. 19 after leaving her Arkansas home to go for a run. Her body was discovered two days later buried in a field after investigators discovered the site using data allegedly recovered from Lewellyn’s cell phone.
Lewellyn, who had come from a prominent farming family in the community, initially told investigators that he had seen Sutherland running down County Road 41 before she disappeared.
Authorities said no other witnesses reported seeing the 25-year-old after Lewellyn said he drove by her.
The day after she disappeared, Sutherland’s iPhone was located in a field about 1.3 miles from her home. Investigators also found a pair of broken sunglasses linked to Sutherland in a barn “a few hundred yards” from where the phone was found, according to an affidavit.
Investigators brought Lewellyn in for questioning on Aug. 21. At the time, he agreed to let authorities search a 2019 GMC Sierra pickup truck.
“During a search, agents located what appeared to be blood inside the cracks of the tailgate and on the tailgate,” Lovan wrote.
Authorities also searched Lewellyn’s phone and found a Life360 app that suggested he had been in an area about 2.36 miles from where Sutherland’s phone had been found approximately an hour after she was discovered missing, the affidavit stated.
Using the data gained from the phone, authorities recovered Sutherland’s body “just a few yards” from where the Life 360 app had suggested Lewellyn had been, the affidavit said.
The same day Sutherland's body was found, Lewellyn allegedly told authorities that he had run her over with his pickup truck, loaded her into the vehicle, drove her to a field nearby and then sexually violated her “on the tailgate of his truck,” according to an affidavit in the case.
After he was finished, investigators said he used a shovel to dig a grave and bury the body.
Authorities discovered shoe prints “on top of and near the grave.”
They believe the shoe prints could match a pair of tannish brown “Sanuk” style shoes Lewellyn was seen wearing on surveillance footage the day of the murder, according to an affidavit for a search warrant to obtain the shoes from a house on Friendly Hope Cove in Jonesboro.
Lewellyn’s mother, Kerry Lewellyn, had contacted law enforcement officers about the surveillance footage and told authorities she had surveillance video from her property that they “needed to look at,” according to the affidavit.
While viewing the footage, Kerry Lewellyn and Quake’s wife, Gracie Lewellyn, allegedly told investigators that they had observed a dent on Quake’s truck on Aug. 19 that had not been there earlier that morning.
Shortly after Quake Lewellyn was arrested, his wife filed for divorce citing “general indignities,” according to local station KATV.