Sidney Randall (Photo: Arkansas State Police)
John Cornell (Photo: Walnut Ridge Police Department)
WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (KTHV) -- Lawrence County fears the worst as leads turn up no sign of missing 14-year-old Sidney Randall.
Denise Cornell, Sidney's mother said this disappearance came out of nowhere. She told THV 11 that aside from typical father / daughter arguments, Sidney and her stepdad had an okay relationship. Now after a strange turn of events, she believes John Cornell killed her daughter.
"I yelled at him and told him I called 911 and that was the last I saw of him," she recalled.
Denise Cornell holds on to hope as authorities search for her missing daughter. Denise Cornell called police early Sunday morning and the search for the girl began. Just a day later, Sidney's stepdad John Cornell, was found dead from a gunshot to the head. Cornell said she initially wished her husband would return home with her daughter, but now believes he killed the girl.
"I go back to that night ever since she's been missing, and I think 'If I hadn't went to sleep,'" she explained.
Rescue crews searched the scene where John Cornell was found again on Wednesday and went to different hunting locations, as Cornell was an avid hunter and fisherman. Boats scanned the Black River looking for any trace of the girl.
"We've got game and fish over in Portia Bay. He was known to hunt and fish in that area heavy. Divers are still working running water down further south in case anything has gone down stream," said Sheriff Jody Dotson. "Generally when you work an area you have a particular place to focus on, but all we have to focus on here is the spot where we found John and then we have the home, we've revisited the home multiple times."
With leads diminishing, the girl's mother pleaded for the public's help.
"I just want her home."
Sheriff Dotson said crews will search into the night and even though it's been four days since her disappearance, the community is not ready to give up hope.
Dotson added that this disappearance rattled the community. He says most of the offenses in the small town are non-violent, but this one shocks them all.