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Entries in Sherry Arnold (7)

Thursday
Mar222012

Body Identified as Missing Montana Teacher

Facebook(WILLISTON, N.D.) -- A woman's remains found outside Williston, N.D., have been identified as Sherry Arnold, a Montana teacher who went missing while out on a jog the morning of Jan. 7, the FBI said.

"The Medical Examiner's Office at the Montana State Crime Lab has identified the remains as Sherry Arnold of Sidney, Mont.," read a written statement by Deborah Dujanovic Bertram, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Salt Lake City Division.

On Tuesday, agents from an FBI evidence response team and local police began to recover the remains of a female found near Williston, N.D., a prior FBI statement said. Williston is about 45 miles from Sidney.

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Two Colorado men are in custody in the 43-year-old Arnold's disappearance, charged with aggravated kidnapping.

The location of the body across the state line from where the kidnapping occurred means there could be federal charges against the two suspects in the case, Michael Keith Spell, 22, and Lester Van Waters Jr., 48, both of Parachute, Colo.

Spell and Waters pleaded not guilty last month to one count each of aggravated kidnapping during an arraignment in state district court in Sidney. They face a possible death sentence under Montana law if convicted.

Court documents filed by the prosecutor in the case indicate Spell has confessed to a role in a crack-fueled abduction and presumed killing of Arnold. Authorities have said Spell attempted to take FBI agents to the site, but could not find it.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar212012

Body Found Is Possibly Missing Montana Teacher Sherry Arnold

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(WILLISTON, N.D.) -- Investigators believe they have found the body of a Montana teacher who went missing while out for a jog on the morning of Jan. 7.

"While a positive identification has not been made at this time, it is believed the remains are those of Sherry Arnold," said a statement by David Johnson, special agent in charge of the FBI's Salt Lake City Division and Frank DiFonzo, the police chief in Arnold's hometown of Sidney, Mont.

On Tuesday, agents from an FBI evidence response team and local police began to recover the remains of a female found near Williston, N.D., the statement said. Williston is about 45 miles from Sidney.

The remains are being sent to a lab to confirm the identity and police said they would not release any further details.

"We want to thank God for all the amazing people and their prayers, help and continued support in bringing Sherry home to her family," Arnold's aunt, Janet Earhardt, told ABC News Wednesday.

Two Colorado men are in custody in Arnold's disappearance, charged with aggravated kidnapping.

The location of the body across the state line from where the kidnapping occurred means there could be federal charges against the two suspects in the case, Michael Keith Spell, 22, and Lester Van Waters Jr., 47, both of Parachute, Colo.

Spell and Waters pleaded not guilty last month to one count each of aggravated kidnapping during an arraignment in state district court in Sidney. They face a possible death sentence under Montana law if convicted.

Court documents filed by the prosecutor in the case indicate Spell has confessed to a role in a crack-fueled abduction and presumed killing of Arnold. Authorities have said Spell attempted to take FBI agents to the site but could not find it.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Feb192012

Montana Teacher Killed by Two Men High on Crack-Cocaine

Comstock/Thinkstock(BILLINGS, Mont.) -- A crack-cocaine induced high led two men to kidnap and choke Montana school teacher Sherry Arnold to death, according to prosecutors.

In an affidavit filed Friday, Richland County prosecutors allege Lester Waters, 44, was high on crack while driving with Michael Spell, 22, from Colorado to find work in the oil fields of nearby South Dakota. That’s when Waters began talking about kidnapping and killing a woman.

According to the affidavit,  posted by a local television station KTVQ, Spell told police Waters “was capable of doing anything” while on crack and that it “brought the ‘Devil’ out in him.”

Once the two saw Arnold on the morning of Jan. 7, Spell told police, Waters told him to grab her and pull her into their car, according to the affidavit.

Waters then allegedly strangled her in the back seat and together they buried her body in an old farmstead in South Dakota using a shovel Waters had purchased at Walmart, the affidavit said. Arnold’s body has not yet been found.

Spell told police Waters threatened to kill him and his family if he ever revealed what had happened, the affidavit said. Spell allegedly did tell his girlfriend, Angel Cruz, though, and she led investigators to the suspects.

The affidavit is based on the information allegedly provided by Spell during questioning by investigators.

The two men are scheduled to appear in court Feb. 28 to face charges of aggravated kidnapping, which could carry the death penalty.

Arnold, 43, was out for a run around 6:30 in the morning on Jan. 7, when she went missing. She was a math teacher for 18 years at Sydney High School.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan182012

Missing Montana Teacher: Suspects Have Lengthy Criminal Records

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(SIDNEY, Mont.) -- The two men charged with aggravated kidnapping in the disappearance of missing Montana teacher Sherry Arnold have had numerous run-ins with the law.

Though the FBI will not say what led them to Lester Vann Waters Jr., 47, and Michael Keith Spell, 22, the two men were taken into custody last week and are being held at the Williams County Correctional Center in Williston, N.D., while they await extradition to Montana.  Both men had been living in an unincorporated area near Parachute, Colo.

Waters has an extensive criminal record in Florida with charges including a weapons offense, narcotic possession, theft, trespassing and leaving the scene of a crash injury.  He has served time in Florida jails at least three times.

Records also show that Waters has used about a dozen aliases and has been charged with giving police a false name when arrested.

Spell was arrested and charged with drug possession, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and sexual contact without consent in Colorado in May 2007, but the charges were dropped for unknown reasons.

Investigators have remained tight-lipped about the details of the investigation, providing very little information about the connection between Waters and Spell or what led them to the conclusion that Arnold is dead.

FBI investigators have said they believe that Arnold is dead, but they have not yet been able to locate her body.

On Monday, investigators asked farmers and ranchers in remote areas of Montana and North Dakota to search their properties for disturbed soil or grass near vacant farms.  They believe Arnold could be buried somewhere in the area.

Arnold, 43, a married mother of two and stepmother of three, disappeared on Jan. 7 around 6:30 a.m. while jogging near her home in Sidney, Mont.  A single running shoe was the only trace left behind.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan162012

Two-State Search for Body of Missing Teacher Sherry Arnold

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(SIDNEY, Mont.) -- Land owners in Montana and North Dakota are searching their properties, looking for the body of missing Montana teacher Sherry Arnold.

The farmers and ranchers in these remote areas were asked by the FBI to check for disturbed soil or grass near vacant farms.

Investigators are saying that Arnold could be buried in a "shelter belt," rows of trees planted alongside farmland to protect the soil from wind.

"Property owners who discover something unusual are asked not to disturb the site and immediately contact the Williams County Law Enforcement Center," the FBI said in a statement.

Arnold, 43, a married mother of two and stepmother of three, disappeared on Jan. 7 around 6:30 a.m. while jogging near her home in Sidney, Mont. A single running shoe was the only trace left behind.

Two Colorado men are being held in connection to Arnold's disappearance. The men are Lester Vann Waters Jr., 47, and Michael Keith Spell, 22.

The two men are in the Williams County Correctional Center in Williston, N.D., as they await extradition to Montana.

Waters and Spell have been charged with aggravated kidnapping. The case is now a federal case because investigators believe Arnold was kidnapped from her hometown of Sidney, Mont., and taken across state lines.

The two men were taken into custody on Friday, but officials have released very few details about what led them to the men or the conclusion that Arnold is dead.

Sidney Mayor Bret Smelser said the tight-knit town is in shock.

"We're grieving," Smelser said. "We've got to get through that process. We've got to get through the closure."

Arnold's family is hoping to find Arnold so they can move closer to gaining some closure.

"We pray that we can find Sherry. We want it to be done," the Arnold family told "Good Morning America."

Sidney, a small town of roughly 5,000 people, has experienced an influx of out-of-town oil workers following the Bakken oil boom in North Dakota. Crime rates in the area have also swelled, with a rise in bar fights, domestic violence and drunk driving.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan152012

Sherry Arnold: 2 Men Charged With Aggravated Kidnapping in Montana

Giorgio Fochesato/Vetta/Getty Images(SIDNEY, Mont.) -- Two men have been charged with aggravated kidnapping in connection with the disappearance of Sherry Arnold, a Montana teacher and mother of five.

Authorities say the 43-year-old Arnold is dead, but have given no details on how she died or the names of the two men arrested.

"They still want information out of the two people that were arrested," said Brad Garrett, former FBI agent and ABC News consultant. "They don't want to compromise that until they get all of the information."

Arnold, a married mother of two and stepmother of three, disappeared last Saturday around 6:30 a.m. while jogging near her home in Sidney, Mont. A single running shoe was the only trace left behind.

Hundreds of community members turned out to help the Sidney Police Department and the FBI search for Arnold, who was a beloved math teacher at Sidney Public School. But it was an anonymous call to a tip line that gave investigators the break they needed.

One of the two men arrested is a 47-year-old man being held in nearby Williston, N.D. The other is a 22-year-old man found several miles away in Rapid City, S.D. Authorities have not revealed whether Arnold was targeted or the victim of a hit-and-run.

"The scary thing is it maybe just be random," said Garrett. "It may be that she was hit by accident, or that she was abducted."

Arnold's friends and family gathered to remember her at a memorial service Friday night.

"We would like to thank police, FBI, people of Sidney, the people around who have turned out to help, and the role they played in bringing Sherry back home," Arnold's husband, Gary Arnold, told ABC News. "It wasn't how we wanted her to come home, but she came home to us."

Sidney, a small town of roughly 5,000 people, has experienced an influx of out-of-town oil workers following the Bakken oil boom in North Dakota. Crime rates in the area have also swelled, with a rise in bar fights, domestic violence and drunk driving.

"We own the day, they own the night," Sidney Mayor Bret Smelser said of the oil workers and the increase in crime. "Unfortunately, Sherry was running in the early hours of the morning."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan132012

Missing Montana Teacher Sherry Arnold Dead, School Says

Comstock/Thinkstock(SIDNEY, Mont.) -- Missing Montana mother and teacher Sherry Arnold is dead, according to a post on her school district's website. The FBI announced Friday that they have one person in custody and another being questioned.

Arnold, 43, disappeared around 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 7 when she went out for an early morning run near her home in Sidney, Mont. A single running shoe was the only trace of Arnold left behind.

"Based on a tip from the public, law enforcement took one adult male into custody, and another adult male is being questioned by police," FBI spokeswoman Debbie Dujanovic Bertram said in a statement. "The investigation to determine what happened to Ms. Arnold continues."

Sidney Public School officials posted a message on the school district's website saying that they were informed of her death Friday morning, after Arnold's family was notified. Arnold was a married mother of two, and stepmother of three.

Arnold was a teacher in Sidney since 1993, teaching at both the middle school and high school, where she was a math teacher at the time of her death.

Search and rescue teams used canine units, private planes, a helicopter, and searchers on ATVs and horseback. Hundreds of community members turned out to help the Sidney Police Department and the FBI search for Arnold.

Sidney is a small town of roughly 5,000 people that has experienced a sudden influx of out-of-towner oil workers following the Bakken oil boom in North Dakota, according to the Billings Gazette.

Sidney Police Chief Frank DiFonzo told the newspaper that crime rates have gone up since the influx in areas including bar fights, domestic violence and drunk driving.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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