INVESTIGATION INTO HIT AND RUN DEATH FROM NOVEMBER, 2015 IS NOW CLOSED
Douglas A. Foreman
Bobby D. Dutton
The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office has concluded its lengthy investigation into the hit and run accident that claimed the life of Douglas A. Foreman of rural Mountain Home on November 02, 2015 on Old Military Rd (Baxter CR 55). Mr. Foreman was an employee of Baxter Regional Medical Center. Although Sheriff’s Investigator Scott Thrasher, who was the lead investigating officer in this case, obtained a bench warrant for the arrest of a suspect, the suspect passed away from a drug overdose before the arrest warrant could be served on him.
The investigation began on November 3, 2015 when the Sheriff’s Office received a call from the wife of 63 year old Douglas A. Forman. Mrs. Foreman reported at approximately 3:51 AM that her husband had left the home the evening prior to go ride his bicycle as he often did but never returned home that evening. Mrs. Foreman stated her husband was overdue and missing. She provided deputies with some of the routes that her husband normally took when riding his bicycle.
At approximately 4:13 AM that morning, Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Gates found Mr. Foreman on the Old Military Road (Baxter CR 55) nears its intersection with Baxter CR 69. Mr. Foreman had been struck by a motor vehicle and was unresponsive. Mr. Foreman was pronounced deceased at the scene.
An intensive investigation was undertaken in an attempt to determine who had struck Mr. Foreman and caused his death in this hit and run accident. Evidence obtained during the course of the investigation indicated that the accident occurred at approximately 11:07 PM on the evening of November 2, 2015. Over the course of the following weeks and months, the Sheriff’s Office received more than 200 citizen tips or leads containing varying degrees of information. Each of these leads was followed-up on by investigators. A number of persons were named over time in these tips as being potential suspects. With the exception of the one suspect who was eventually charged, all others named as potential suspects were cleared. Sheriff’s investigators conducted many interviews based on these leads, including conducting interviews in Little Rock and Benton, Arkansas and also with an inmate at the Arkansas Department of Corrections. Early in the investigation, officers had canvassed the neighborhood more than once, and they also handed out flyers to motorists passing through the area in an effort to obtain information. The accident had also been reconstructed in detail by a certified reconstructionist with the Arkansas State Police.
Seven search warrants and five subpoenas were obtained during the course of the investigation to give investigators access to vehicles, documents, records, and other information deemed to be relevant to the case. Investigators obtained and reviewed more than 20,000 pieces of data from cellular phone tower sites. This data was also reviewed by outside sources in an attempt to collect evidence relevant to the case.
The bicycle that Mr. Foreman had been riding, along with other forensic evidence, was collected from the scene. The bicycle and other physical evidence were immediately sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock and to the FBI Crime Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia for forensic analysis. As the investigation continued, two motor vehicles that citizen tips indicated may have been involved in the accident were seized and taken to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to be analyzed. The FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit in Quantico was also asked to develop a case analysis profile.
In May, 2016, a confidential informant provided the name of a potential suspect who had not yet been looked at. Investigators began focusing on this suspect and began piecing together evidence that ultimately made a case against him. This included interviews with family members, friends, and associates of this suspect. This suspect was ultimately charged and a warrant obtained for his arrest at the conclusion of the investigation and prior to his death. The suspect can now be identified as 19 year old Bobby D. Dutton of rural Mountain Home.
Sheriff’s investigators were told by witnesses that immediately following the accident, Mr. Dutton had driven to a mobile home park in Midway, Arkansas and went into a residence where several other people were present. Witnesses stated that Mr. Dutton was very upset and “frantic” and said, “I hit someone” and indicated he needed a change of clothing. Mr. Dutton then asked one of the other people present at the residence to assist him in burning the clothing he had been wearing. This witness stated he helped Mr. Dutton burn his clothing in the back yard. This witness was interviewed on more than one occasion and his statements remained consistent. He was given a CVSA (computer voice stress analyzer) test. This device is similar to a polygraph test. This test indicated there was no deception present and the witness was being truthful in his answers. Mr. Dutton had been asked to come to the Sheriff’s Office for an interview in May, but he refused. Later, he did interview with an investigator on June 10th but made no disclosures. On July 20th, Dutton was interviewed again, but asked for an attorney and made no statements.
Investigator Scott Thrasher prepared an affidavit for a warrant of arrest on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 to apprehend Bobby Dutton for Leaving the Scene of an Accident with death or injury, which is a Class D Felony under Arkansas law. The Prosecuting Attorney filed the charge, and a bench warrant was issued by the Baxter County Circuit Court on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. Investigators later learned that Bobby Dutton had overdosed at a residence in Marion County and had been taken to the Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home. Bobby Dutton passed away five days later on September 30, 2016 at the hospital, and the outstanding warrant could never be served on him. According to the Baxter County Coroner’s Office, it was undetermined whether the overdose was intentional or accidental. After Bobby Dutton’s death, Investigator Thrasher was informed by a member of Mr. Dutton’s family that Mr. Dutton had confessed to him that he had run over Mr. Foreman on the bicycle on the evening in question.
With the issuance of the warrant charging Mr. Dutton, the Sheriff’s Office has closed the investigation into this matter. The Sheriff’s Office wishes to thank the public for their assistance in providing tips, leads, and other information during the course of this nearly year-long investigation.
The Sheriff’s Office also wants to extend its appreciation to the many offices, agencies, and private entities that provided assistance and support throughout the course of the investigation. These include:
Arkansas State Police
Federal Bureau of Investigation – Fayetteville Field Office and Quantico, Virginia
Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s Office
Office of the Prosecuting Attorney
Baxter County Coroner's Office
14th Judicial District Drug Task Force
Forensic ITC Services – Scottsdale, Arizona
IPTM – Jacksonville, Florida
Mobilized Cellular Repair – Mountain Home, Arkansas
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff