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The body of an Arkansas woman last seen jogging near her home was discovered Friday, just days after she disappeared, and a farmer has been taken into custody in connection with the case.
The Arkansas State Medical Examiner in Little Rock confirmed the body found Friday afternoon belonged to missing 25-year-old Sydney Sutherland, who was last seen Wednesday running along Highway 18, according to KAIT.
Jackson County Emergency Management also confirmed the tragic end to the search, which had brought together hundreds of volunteers and members of multiple law enforcement agencies in the days after Sutherland disappeared.
“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,” the organization said in a statement on Facebook.
Quake Lewellyn, 28, of Jonesboro, was taken into custody in connection with the death, Jackson County authorities said, according to KAIT. He’s expected to have his first court appearance in the Jackson County Circuit Court in Newport on Monday afternoon.
Sheriff David Lucas previously declined to name the suspect during a Friday news conference, but did say the man in custody was a farmer from Jonesboro who had known Sutherland in some capacity, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
Oxygen.com reached out to prosecuting attorney Henry Boyce about whether any charging decisions in the case had been made, but had not received a response as of publication time.
Lucas said searchers discovered the body around 2 p.m. Friday just north of Sutherland’s home, local station KLRT reports.
Lewellyn was taken into custody a short time later.
Searchers discovered Sutherland’s cellphone Thursday night about a quarter-mile from her home, according to KATV.
Lucas declined to release additional details about the case, citing the ongoing investigation, but thanked the multiple agencies and volunteers who helped find the 25-year-old, including the FBI, U.S. Marshals, Trumann police, Jonesboro police, Arkansas State Police and other organizations.
"It's amazing how much love is in the community when something tragic happens, and they just start coming out wanting to help," he said, according to the local paper. "And that's what Jackson County is. It's just like when Jonesboro had the tornado. Everybody started coming out."
Hundreds gathered at a vigil Sunday night to remember Sutherland, who had been a graduate of Tuckerman High School, KARK reports.
“She was a firecracker, she was sassy, she was loving, she was caring, and she was compassionate,” friend Maddie Staggs said.
Others described Sutherland as a loving and generous soul who made a deep impact during her short life.
“She was family,” Tracy Porter said of her coworker. “Her mama was her best friend, her nieces were her world and don’t forget her dogs. Sydney loved her dogs.”
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