Full Coverage: Search ends for missing realtor; suspect charged

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – The man wanted in connection with the disappearance of a central Arkansas realtor will be facing charges of murder.

The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office said 33-year-old Arron Michael Lewis was taken into custody just after 10 a.m. Monday for the kidnapping of real estate agent Beverly Carter, 49. He was apprehended by the Little Rock Police Department Monday morning at Pleasant Pointe Apartments at 1602 Green Mountain Drive around 10 a.m.

Details of Lewis' arrest: http://on.kthv.com/1vpJsBt

The sheriff's office said Lewis was interrogated for 12 hours and eventually admitted to kidnapping Carter, but wouldn't say where she was.

He was booked just after midnight for kidnapping, and information gathered by investigators led to the location of Carter's body at the Pulaski/Lonoke County line.

Beverly Carter's body found: http://on.kthv.com/YJKrzG

When Lewis was initially arrested, Sheriff Doc Holladay said Lewis is an individual facing some very serious charges and they are trying to see how cooperative he will be as the day progresses. He went on to say said he was hopeful Carter is still alive, and he said he told the family they (authorities) will do their best to get her back home safely.

THV11 was out at the search in Scott with Carter's husband Carl Monday who said he prays that Lewis will tell authorities what they need to know to find Beverly and bring her home safely.

A warrant was issued for Lewis Sunday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. in the disappearance of 51-year-old Beverly Lyn Carter on the charge of kidnapping. Minden said Lewis would have facial injuries due to a vehicle accident from earlier Sunday. Deputies took the photo of Lewis' bloodied face after the accident (Mobile Users: The photo and other elements can be seen by visiting http://on.kthv.com/1sxIsw5 in your device's web browser.).

PDF: Arron Lewis warrant (http://on.kthv.com/1Cz839k)

Lewis was apparently a person of interest before he had reached Baptist Hospital for treatment. Minden clarified that he was "not under the guard of law enforcement at that time due to not having any criminal charges." He said Lewis left the left the hospital in the middle of testing; a warrant was obtained later in the day.

"They feel frustrated he left. Obviously it's not something we can control. If someone is not under arrest, and we go into a hospital, we're just not allowed to go back there," explained Minden. "But, yeah, it is frustrating to know that you knew where he was, and you just didn't have an arrest warrant for him at that time."

Police have not said how they connected Lewis to her disappearance.

Carter has not yet been found, and police believe Lewis could hold the keys to finding her location.


LEWIS' ACCIDENT

Lewis' vehicle apparently collided with a concrete barrier on the north side of Jacksonville Cato Road; it came to a rest on top of a concrete culvert, according to the crash report. The reporting officer said Lewis indicated that another vehicle had ran him off the roadway, but witnesses said that Lewis was speeding and began to fishtail prior to the crash.

He was taken to Baptist Hospital ER for shoulder and neck injuries, and written a citation for careless driving and no seat belt. A photo taken immediately after the accident also showed injuries on his face including a bloodied nose, and what appears to be a large gash on his forehead.

The crash happened around 9:55 Sunday morning. A truck description was not provided.

LEWIS' BACKGROUND

Minden confirmed that Lewis is on active parole, and has been out since August 2013. Minden added that he does have a criminal history in Arkansas from the northwest part of the state. He has been charged with the following crimes in the past:

  • Felony Theft of Property (Washington County Sheriff's Office),
  • Obstruction of Government Operations (Benton County Sheriff's Office),
  • Failure to Appear misdemeanor and felony (BCSO),
  • Accomplice to Theft of Property (BCSO),
  • Theft of Property misdemeanor and felony (BCSO),
  • Unlawful Removal of Theft Device (BCSO),
  • Other out of state charges from the Kansas City Police Department and the Utah Department of Corrections.

New information developed early Tuesday morning is Lewis worked for Argos Cement as recently as two and a half months ago, but was fired for unknown reasons.

VOLUNTEERS SEARCHING

Law enforcement agencies and volunteers are currently in their third day of looking for clues in Carter's disappearance.

Saturday's 250 volunteers were divided into two groups -- one group searched Old River Road, where Carter's car was found, and the other group was sent to I-30 and Highway 161. Some searched by foot, others by ATV. Deputies received dozens of requests from search crews to check on items that could possibly lead to clues, but so far, no evidence has turned up.

"It's a vast amount of acreage," said Lt. Carl Minden. "There's a lot of farm land, swamp. There's a lot of waterways."

Beverly's co-workers hope any little detail can lead to developments.

"If there was anything that Beverly left behind, if by chance the window was down, and she was able to throw something out of her own," suggested co-worker Denise Wilson.

CARTER'S DISAPPEARANCE

Details of Carter's disappearance was first introduced to the public on Friday.

Carter was reported missing by her husband September 25 after she was supposed to meet an unknown person at a home on Old River Road in Scott to show a house around 5:30 p.m. After three and half hours of no contact, her husband went to the home and found his wife's car with her purse and wallet inside, but she was nowhere to be found, and investigators have found no trace of a crime.

"Her car was there, and the house was wide open, and I knew that something was wrong," her husband, Carl Carter, described of the scene when he went to look for her.

Beverly Carter was last seen wearing a black sleeveless shirt and red shorts. Flyers circulating suggest Carter stands around 5 feet, 2 inches and weighs around 145 pounds. She is also said to have blonde hair and green eyes.

Her husband said he received a text from his wife around 1 a.m. Friday but that it didn't sound like her at all.

"All of a sudden I received three texts in a row. One said 'Yes.'… Then she sent another text that said, 'My phone's low. The battery's down, and I'll call you whenever I get signal.' …And, then, straight back-to-back, I received a text that said 'Oh, I'm out drinking with some friends,'" he recited. "Beverly's not a drinker…We just want our mom back, and my wife of 35 years…I need her."

FAMILY AND FRIENDS PRAYING

Friends and family told THV11 Friday night that they're praying and hoping Carter comes home soon and that investigators find answers.

"Beverly is very fun-loving," said Brenda Rhoads, principal broker with Crye-Leike in North Little Rock. "She's kind of like the sunshine in the office. Everybody loves Beverly, so everybody's trying to get together to see what we can do… [Realtor safety] is not something that we take lightly, and Beverly's very aware and tells people where she's going and what she's going to do. It is an important thing that we all need to think about as realtors."

Rhoads said people have questioned her as to why Carter didn't take someone with her to show the house.

"You can't always do that. You can tell someone where you're going, you can tell them what time you can be home, and there's nothing wrong with that," she explained.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

The sheriff's office is requesting that any large land owners/farmers in the Scott area where Carter was reported missing check their properties to aid in the search.

There is a bank account established at Centennial Bank for a reward for information in helping locate Beverly Carter.

Account number: 501207866

Online access number: rt#082902757


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