Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas has confirmed a man is in custody in connection with the death of Sydney Sutherland.
The suspect is currently in the Jackson County Jail. As of this posting the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department has not officially released the suspect’s name pending formal charges, but officials have confirmed a 25-year-old male is in custody on a homicide charge.
While the name of the suspect and a booking photo have been circulating on social media as of the time of this post, White River Now will await official confirmation from officials on the suspect’s identification.
Earlier Friday, Sutherland’s body was found by authorities. Some media outlets initially confirmed that the body found was Sutherland’s, but Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas held back on offering an official identification.
However Friday evening, the family of Sutherland’s boyfriend confirmed the body was that of Sutherland’s.
(Scroll below for how events unfolded on Friday.)
UPDATE, Aug. 21, 2020, 6:30 p.m.: The family of Sydney Sutherland’s boyfriend, Alex, has confirmed on Facebook the body discovered Friday afternoon was that of Sutherland. The post (below) also notes a person has been confessed and has been arrested. No names were released.
UPDATE, Aug. 21, 2020, 3:30 p.m.: Multiple media outlets are confirming the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department has found a body, according to Sheriff David Lucas. Despite Little Rock reporting, Lucas has told Jonesboro television station KAIT the body had not yet been confirmed to be that of Sutherland’s.
As the search for Sydney Sutherland enters its third day, Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas (pictured above, right) told reporters at an early Friday afternoon press conference that authorities are working on and tracking potential leads in the case — but said he cannot elaborate further.
Sutherland (pictured above, left), 25, was last seen between 2:30 and 3 p.m. Wednesday, jogging in the area of Jackson County Road 41 and State Highway 18. Lucas said that information came from a UPS driver who told authorities early Thursday morning.
Also on Thursday, Lucas requested that anyone who had been on Highway 67, near the white windmill at Exit 87, between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesday and noticed anything to contact officials immediately.
Sutherland’s residence is on Highway 18 between Newport and Grubbs. Sutherland is known to walk or jog a loop in that area — County Roads 41, 42, 43, and Highway 18.
Her iPhone was found undamaged Thursday night a quarter-mile from her house in an area between Highway 67 and the residence, and authorities also believe, due to a lack of evidence, that she was not hit by a vehicle.
Sutherland was also apparently wearing her Apple Watch at the time she was last seen, but the sheriff said officials have been unable to track it.
At Friday’s conference, Lucas said his department met with other law enforcement officials that morning to ensure all agencies, including U.S. Marshals and the Arkansas State Police, are coordinating their efforts.
A large number of volunteers are also participating in the search. Lucas attributed the number due to the “small town” attitude of the community.
“There’s a lot of love going on,” he said.
Lucas said at the conference that the department treats all cases — including this one — at the same level. However, he pointed out this one was a little more personal. The sheriff’s daughters grew up with Sutherland.
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