An Arkansas nurse, who disappeared while on her regular jog last week, was allegedly kidnapped, raped and then buried by a local farmer to cover up his crime, police said. Quake Lewellyn, 28, was soon arrested after the body of 25-year-old Sydney Sutherland was discovered after a two-day-long search last week. Lewellyn admitted to abducting and sexually assaulting her before killing her.
Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas said that Lewellyn knew the victim although their relationship was unclear. Police are still investigating the incident and said that it was a difficult case as several questions still remain unanswered such as the motive behind the murder and the way Sutherland was killed.
Lewellyn was jailed without bond on Monday on suspicion of capital murder, kidnapping and rape in the death and disappearance of Sutherland, who was last seen out jogging in rural northeast Arkansas. Sutherland was reported missing last Wednesday after she failed to return home from her regular afternoon jog.
Police started searching for her but were clueless till Thursday evening. On Thursday night Sutherland's phone was found about a quarter of a mile away from her home, according to officials. The search operation that comprised 170 people was halted due to it being dark and was resumed on Friday morning. At around 2 pm on Friday, police confirmed that they have discovered the body of Sutherland.
A couple of hours later, Lucas announced that the suspect in the murder has also been arrested and transported to jail. However, he didn't reveal Lewellyn's name at that time. His name was made public only on Monday during his court appearance.
Motive of Murder Still Unknown
According to a special agent with Arkansas State Police, Lewellyn was traveling westbound on County Road 41 when he saw Sutherland jogging and passed by. Lewellyn then turned around, returned to where Sutherland was, abducted her, put her in the back of his pick-up truck and sexually assaulted her.
Later, he murdered and buried her. Sutherland's family was present at the courthouse during the brief hearing that failed to address how the nurse died. Lucas said that Lewellyn knew Sutherland, although their relationship was unclear. .
Police said that it one of the most difficult cases to crack given that not too many people questioned have been able to throw light on the relationship between the suspect and the victim. Moreover, although Lewellyn has admitted to his crime, he still hasn't cooperated much. The reason behind the rape and the way Sutherland was murdered still remains unknown.
On Sunday night, there was a vigil for Sutherland at Tuckerman City Park. The vigil was held by the Class of 2014 from Tuckerman High School where Sutherland graduated.