An Arkansas nurse who vanished while jogging was abducted, raped, and buried, police said during a court hearing Monday for the farmer charged with her murder.
Quake Lewellyn, 28, a third-generation farmer, was silent as he walked up the steps to the courthouse in Jackson County, wearing an orange jumpsuit and a bulletproof vest.
But authorities say he confessed when they questioned him about last week’s disappearance of Sydney Sutherland and led investigators to her body on a farm.
According to pool reporters in the courtroom, Arkansas State Police agent Mike McNeal took the stand and told the judge that Llewellyn said he spotted Sutherland on the highway as he was driving, doubled back, and forced her inside his pickup.
Police and volunteers searched for nearly three days for Sutherland—and Lewellyn reportedly joined a Facebook group dedicated to the effort.
On Friday, a body was found, and the remains were identified as Sutherland’s over the weekend as Lewellyn was booked on suspicion of capital murder.
The probable cause hearing was brief, and many questions remain unanswered, including how Sutherland died. The judge did find cause to charge Lewellyn, and he was ordered held without bond until his next court date on Oct. 1.
Lewellyn was represented by a public defender, and many members of Sutherland’s family were in the courtroom.
The crime has rocked the close-knit community.
“I happen to personally know the family of the victim, as I do the family of the defendant,” Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce told Region 8 News.
“It’s hard to live your life in a community of this size and not know just about everybody.”