The body of a 25-year-old woman who last seen jogging on a highway has been found after an almost three-day search.
Sydney Sutherland, from Arkansas, was reported missing on Wednesday evening (local time) after she went jogging that afternoon and failed to return home.
Authorities discovered on Friday (local time) a female body near the nurse’s home, with Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas confirming on Saturday the state medical examiner’s office had identified the body as belonging to Ms Sutherland through DNA.
Jackson County Police said her mobile phone was found on Thursday about half a kilometre from her home, showing pings of a loop the keen jogger regularly ran.
The death has shocked the tight-knit community who gathered in droves to join the search for Ms Sutherland when she was initially reported missing, including local police who knew the nurse and her family.
“It’s taken a toll, it really has. Just because I know the people of this county. I know this family personally. I know this young lady personally. I’ve known her and watched her grow up. It hits me personally,” Sheriff Lucas told reporters.
The police officer described her death as “very tragic case”, according to US news outlet KAIT8.
A farmer from Jonesboro is in custody on suspicion of homicide, Fox 16 reported.
"We do have a suspect in custody at this time," Sheriff Lucas said on Saturday.
He also confirmed the suspect was known to Ms Sutherland and had not been formally charged.
Unity Health Harris Medical Centre, where Ms Sutherland worked, posted a heartfelt tribute to her on their Facebook page.
“All of us at Unity Health are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of our precious co-worker Sydney Sutherland. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. She will be forever missed,” the post said.
One woman responded to the news, saying: “She was an amazing nurse who took great care of my daughter while hospitalised this spring. She was kind, sweet, professional, and always made sure we had what we needed.”
“Praying for her family. I have known her mother Maggie and family for over 25 years. This just breaks my heart,” a family friend wrote.
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