UPDATE: MURDER VICTIM HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED
SECOND UPDATE: 12/22/2020
The murder victim in this case has been determined and confirmed to be 35 year old CODY BENJAMIN STRADFORD 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.
The Sheriff's Office had taken a missing person report on CODY STRADFORD from his parents earlier this month indicating he had not been seen or heard from in several days.
/s/ Sheriff John Montgomery
Update December 18,2020 4:30 PM
A fourth person has been arrested and charged in connection with the body that was found in the burned vehicle on Wednesday. (See original press release below)
Ashley Nicole Hendricks was taken into custody by the Benton County Sheriff's Office and the FBI. Hendricks was arrested at approximately 4:38 pm on Thursday at a residence in Siloam Springs, Arkansas without incident.
Ashley Nicole Hendricks, age 35 of Fayetteville, Arkansas is being extradited from Benton County, Arkansas to Baxter County where she will be held.
Ashley Hendricks is charged with:
Murder, 1st Degree
Hendricks bond is set at $500,000 pending her appearance in Baxter County Circuit Court.
The identity if the victim has not been confirmed at this time by the Medical Examiner's Office in Little Rock.
Sheriff John Montgomery
December 17, 2020
Body Recovered, Three Charged with Murder
On Wednesday December 16, 2020, at approximately 10:00 am, Baxter County Deputies responded to a 911 call stating the caller had found a burned car with what looked like a body inside in an area just off of Old Arkana Road, south of Mountain Home. Deputies located a burned vehicle with what appeared to be human remains inside. It appears the vehicle had been there for several days.
Investigators from the Baxter County Sheriff's Office, Mountain Home Police Department and Arkansas State Police and Baxter County Coroner's Office responded. The body was removed and sent to the Medical Examiner's Office at the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for autopsy to determine the identity of the victim along with the cause and manner of death.
Investigators from the three agencies executed search warrants on the burned vehicle and search warrants at a residence in Mountain Home and second one at a residence east of Mountain Home. Interviews were conducted and suspects were developed.
Late Wednesday evening one of the suspects, Skylar Brazil was located and fled on foot. 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 taken into custody and transported to the Baxter County Detention Center.
Arrest warrants were obtained and today, two other suspects were arrested near Brownsville, Texas by officers with 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.
Charged with first degree murder and kidnapping are:
Ryan James Lindsey, age 27 of Mountain Home
Skylar Whitney Brazil, age 38 of Mountain Home
Allison June Beckham Cunningham, 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.
The investigation is ongoing. The 14th Judicial District Prosecutor's Office has asked that no other information be released at this time.
Sheriff John Montgomery