Entries in Sidney (2)


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


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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