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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Body identified as missing woman

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Staff Writer

The family of a missing Mountain View woman had its worst fears confirmed Sept. 30 when her body was identified.

Examiners at the state Medical Examiners Office in Little Rock confirmed that a partially clothed body found Sept. 27 off an embankment on Highway 9, 5 miles west of Melbourne, is that of 22-year-old Rebekah Gould.

"Rebekah Gould's body has been positively identified. We can move forward in this case," said Arkansas State Police Lt. Bill Beach.

Beach said examiners used Gould's dental records to determine her identity. Gould's cause of death has not been released to the public.

Members of Gould's family had been preparing themselves for the news since the body was found.

Now that his daughter's body has been has been positively identified, Larry Gould is ready to turn his attention to finding her killer.

"Anything I can do to help find the person or persons who did this to Rebekah, I will do," said a somber Larry Gould.

Gould's funeral services were held Oct. 2 in Mountain View.

Larry Gould said a preliminary autopsy report indicated that his daughter died from a blunt force trauma to the head.

Beach would not comment about Gould's cause of death.

Authorities had been looking for Gould since Sept. 21 when her family reported her missing.

Investigators found Gould's Chevrolet Cavalier and her personal effects at a friend's house near Guion. During a 12-hour search of the residence, investigators found blood and other evidence related to the case.

Officials think Gould, a student at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, was forcibly removed from the residence.

The friend, Casey McCullough, has not been charged in the case. Beach said McCullough is a "person of interest." Law enforcement officials are not commenting about McCullough's connection to the case.

Beach said several items were missing from McCullough's house, but he would not elaborate.

Gould was last seen at the Possum Trot convenience store in Melbourne on the morning of Sept. 20.

Beach said investigators are following several leads in the case. He said evidence collected at McCullough's house and the site where the body was found has been sent to the crime lab in Little Rock for analysis.

Results from the tests were unavailable at press time.

Larry Gould said published reports that Gould's sister, Danielle Gould, was with Rebekah just prior to her disappearance were inaccurate.

He said Rebekah and Danielle shared an apartment with another sister in Fayettville.

Danielle and Rebekah came home the weekend prior to Gould's disappearance. Danielle stayed in Mountain View with her boyfriend, and Rebekah stayed with friends in Melbourne, said Larry Gould.

When Rebekah failed to pick Danielle up for their return trip to Fayettville, the family became concerned, he said.

That concern turned into fear and then anguish as the search for Gould continued.

Larry Gould said his family is devastated by what happened to his daughter, but he was thankful that her body has been found.

"It's a relief to know we won't have to keep searching for her day after day, not knowing where she's at," he said.

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