ARKANSAS CITY, Ark. – A circuit judge Friday denied bail for a cross-country trucker from McGehee who is accused of abducting and killing a Pine Bluff girl whose car had run out of gasoline along a remote U.S. highway in southeastern Arkansas.
Prosecutor Thomas Deen told Circuit Judge Teresa French that charges would be filed Friday afternoon against Osburn. Deen said he plans to seek the death penalty.
"Casey was murdered in distress," Deen said. "Instead of coming to her aid, Mr. Osburn kidnapped and strangled her to death."
Deen said Osburn had four previous nonviolent felony convictions but declined to describe them.
Crowder disappeared after running out of gasoline on U.S. 65 near Dumas while returning home to Pine Bluff from her boyfriend's house at Pickens. Her parents notified police that she was missing about 20 hours after she called her mother to say she was out of fuel.
Crowder was a senior at Watson Chapel High School. Her vehicle was found on the highway within walking distance of a gas station. According to police, the gas tank was empty, her purse and cell phone were gone but a softball bat and glove were in the car.
Searchers including a number of volunteers and officers from other law enforcement agencies spent six days looking for Crowder before finding the body Sept. 2.
On Thursday, Desha County Sheriff-elect Jim Snyder announced Osburn's arrest. Snyder said DNA evidence and a white pickup truck linked to Osburn led to the arrest. Deen said on Friday that interviews and surveillance videos from businesses along U.S. 65 near where Crowder's vehicle was found also played a part in the arrest.
Since Osburn's arrest, two other Arkansas police agencies contacted Deen about unsolved crimes in their areas. Deen said those leads did not result in any follow-ups.