GARLAND COUNTY, Ark. – The Garland County Sheriff’s Office believes foul play may be involved in the disappearance of an 80-year-old woman and have identified someone who could be considered a person of interest.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Betty Slaughter, was reported missing last Wednesday, Aug. 22. Now investigators say they’re not ruling out the possibility that her disappearance could be linked to a body that was found over the weekend.
Deputies checked Slaughter’s home off Legend Circle where they say there were no signs of forced entry, but they did find evidence that made them suspect possible foul play.
On Saturday, the Sheriff’s Office says a body was found at Lowe Cemetery, which is about 9 miles from Slaughter’s home. According to a law enforcement source, the body was burned. The Sheriff’s Office is waiting for the state crime lab to identify the body.
Neighbors say Slaughter lives alone at the lakefront home, she does not have any children and her husband passed away more than a decade ago.
“I don’t have much hope that she’s still alive,” said John McDonald, a neighbor who calls Slaughter a friend.
McDonald says he noticed Slaughter hadn’t been on her usual daily walk with her dog.
“We’d visit for 20 or 30 minutes in the afternoon. Very nice lady, kept to herself most of the time, didn’t have people over much.”
McDonald says he’s wondering why she might have been targeted.
“She had quite a few assets, so she might have been vulnerable you know I’m not sure,” he said.
The Sheriff’s Office is not releasing more details about the investigation or the possible person of interest. In a news release Sheriff Mike McCormick said, “We are investigating this case as a criminal case rather than just a missing person. We ask for the public’s help in solving this case.”
Anyone with any information on the disappearance of Betty Slaughter is urged to call the Garland County Sheriff’s Office at 501-622-3690.