SIDNEY, Mont. – The FBI and local law enforcement officials are releasing few details surrounding the disappearance and reported death of a Montana math teacher who vanished a week ago. Sidney Mayor Bret Smelser said residents on Saturday would like to know more as part of the grieving process but they understand an investigation is ongoing.
"Evidently there's still more work to do," Smelser said. "People would like to have more information, but if that information is going to hinder the investigation, then we understand."
Officials say Sherry Arnold, 43, disappeared Jan. 7 while on an early morning run along a truck route on the edge of the oil boom town in northeast Montana that has about 5,500 residents. Smelser described the route as a two-lane, farm-to-market route with mostly local traffic and some tractor-trailers.
Sidney police Chief Frank DiFonzo on Friday said two men in the Dakotas were being questioned in connection with the death. Names have not been released. DiFonzo did not return a call from The Associated Press on Saturday.
"We have two people in jail, so evidently the investigation is moving forward," Smelser said.
FBI spokeswoman Deborah Bertram in an email Saturday to the AP declined comment.
"I will be releasing details when I am authorized to do so," she said. "I do not have a time frame on when that will happen."
The only clue to Arnold's disappearance that had been publicly released was that one of her shoes was found along her running route.
Hundreds of residents, police, firefighters and others combed the town and surrounding countryside earlier this week without results. Officials have not reported finding a body, and Smelser said no additional searches are planned.
Sidney school officials posted a statement online saying they learned of Arnold's death Friday. The statement did not provide details. The FBI hasn't confirmed Arnold's death.
Sherry Arnold and her husband, Gary Arnold, have five children combined from prior marriages. Two live at home and attend the same school system where Sherry Arnold worked for the past 18 years.
Smelser said the community has held three prayer vigils but he's not aware of another being planned.
"There's always church on Sunday," he said.
Despite the unknowns, he said the community is moving forward.
"We'll wait for the final evidence and then as a community we need to have a serious discussion to get us back to where we were and make us whole, to give us peace back in our hearts and a sense of security," he said.