Arkansas Cops ID Body as That of Missing Teen

A Pine Bluff teenager missing for a week was found dead Saturday east of Dumas, a state police spokesman said.

The body of Casey Crowder, 17, was found, although state police spokesman Bill Sadler referred other questions about the case to Desha County Sheriff Don Smith or Sheriff-elect Jim Snyder. Sadler said he was providing the information only because he was getting ready to cancel a state police Morgan Nick Alert issued when Arkansas children go missing.

The sheriff's office would not confirm that Crowder's body was found.

"We do not know that for sure. Positive ID has not been made at this time," Snyder said.

The sheriff-elect would say only that the body of a female was found by ground search crews about 3:30 p.m. Saturday in a rural area near Dumas. He would not describe the condition of the body, but said investigators couldn't tell how old the person was.

He said the body was turned over to the state medical examiner for positive identification.

The Crowder investigation was continuing, he said, and authorities were seeking any information that might be helpful to the case. He said the toll-free number 1-888-688-8549 was set up to receive calls about her disappearance.

Crowder, a senior at Watson Chapel High School, was traveling back from a friend's house in Pickens on Aug. 27 when she telephoned her mother to say she had run out of gas. Crowder told her mother she would walk to a gas station. She was never heard from again.

Crowder's car was found along U.S. 65 south of Dumas, with her purse and cell phone gone but a softball bat and glove left behind. The car was out of gas, and its emergency flashers apparently had run the battery down.

Volunteers searched farmland around Dumas including the Pickens farm where Crowder's boyfriend lives. The search was conducted by ground and air. Several people rode horseback or walked roads, ditches and canals hoping to find evidence of Crowder.

Highway 65 is a major route, mostly two-lane, between Little Rock and Natchez, Miss.