UPDATE from Dec. 22, 5:30 p.m.: The murder victim in this case has been determined and confirmed to be Cody Benjamin Stradford, 35 of rural Mountain Home. The positive identification of the remains of the victim was made by the Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s Office in Little Rock, according to the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office.
The office had taken a missing person report on Stradford from his parents earlier this month indicating he had not been seen or heard from in several days.
UPDATE from Dec. 19: Authorities say a fourth person has been charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping after a burned body was found in a torched car in the Ozarks.
Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery says the car and the still-unidentified body were found Wednesday near Mountain Home, close to the Missouri state line.
Ashley Nicole Hendricks (pictured), 35, of Fayetteville, was arrested at a home in Siloam Springs on Thursday. Authorities planned to extradite Hendricks from Benton County, where she’s currently being held, to Baxter County.
Two other suspects were arrested Thursday near Brownsville, Tex., more than 900 miles away, while another was arrested near Mountain Home on Wednesday.
UPDATE from Dec. 18: Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery says a burned body has been found in a burned car near Mountain Home, and three suspects are in custody after being arrested on first-degree murder warrants. Montgomery says the car with the unidentified body inside was found Wednesday.
Montgomery says one suspect was arrested later Wednesday near Mountain Home and the other two were arrested Thursday near Brownsville, Tex.
Court records do not show that formal charges have been filed in the case.
Investigators from the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office, Mountain Home Police Department Arkansas State Police, and Baxter County Coroner’s Office responded, the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement announcing the arrests.
The body was removed and sent to the medical examiner’s office at the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for an autopsy to determine the identity of the victim along with the cause and manner of death.
In a statement, Baxter County investigators from the three agencies executed search warrants on the burned vehicle and search warrants at a residence in Mountain Home and a second one at a residence east of Mountain Home. Interviews were conducted, and suspects were developed, the statement said.
Late Wednesday evening one of the suspects, Skylar Brazil (pictured above), 38, was located and fled on foot, the sheriff’s office said. Brazil was taken into custody after a K-9 dog team from the Arkansas Department of Corrections located him hiding in the weeds. Brazil was transported to the Baxter County Detention Center.
Arrest warrants were obtained and Thursday, two other suspects were arrested near Brownsville by officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety who had been working closely with Baxter County authorities after information was obtained during the investigation. They will be extradited back to Arkansas to face charges, the statement said.
According to Baxter County Sheriff’s Office, along with Brazil, those also being charged with first-degree murder are:
Ryan James Lindsey (pictured above), age 27, of Mountain Home, and Allison June Beckham Cunningham (pictured below), age 42, of Mountain Home.
Bond on Skylar Brazil was set at $500,000, and bond for Ryan Lindsey and Allison Beckham was set at $1,000,000.
The name of the victim is being withheld pending positive identification by the Arkansas State Medical Examiner.
Agencies involved in this investigation are the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office, Mountain Home Police Department, Arkansas State Police, Baxter County Coroner’s Office, and the Arkansas Department of Corrections and Community Corrections.
Images via Baxter County Sheriff’s Office
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