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Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Bones identified

Friday, March 24, 2006

Missing person case comes to sad end

After almost three years, the missing person case of Bridgett Sellers has come to an end.

The skeleton found in the septic tank on the property of Jerry Stevens belongs to Sellers, according to the Arkansas medical examiner.

The skeleton of Sellers was identified through deformities of the pinky fingers, Sharp County Sheriff Dale Weaver said.

"With today's scientific methods of making positive identification through DNA, I don't see why that shouldn't be followed up on," Weaver said.

While he said he does think the medical examiner was correct in declaring the remains as Sellers' he said he would like it to take a step further.

"We would like to be a little more certain than deformed bones," he said. "Once we are sure it is her, we will be closing our missing person case."

Stevens remains the only person of interest in the case, Weaver said. He said unless some other information becomes available he doesn't see the case going in any other direction.

Stevens, 47, died Jan. 10 in Jonesboro after a prolonged illness. He was living with his sister at the time.

Sellers disappeared while walking on Peace Valley Road near Stevens' property on May 9, 2003.

Stevens' property is divided between Izard County and Sharp County.

On Nov. 25, 2005, bones were discovered in a septic tank on Stevens' property. The tank was in the Izard County section of his property, which resulted in both the Izard, headed by Sheriff Tate Lawrence, and Sharp County Sheriffs Departments working together on the case. The bones were identified as human in December.

Weaver said the departments worked well together and Sharp County was available for what Izard County needed.

In January Weaver told Areawide Media the medical examiner had determined the death had been ruled a homicide. According to the examiner, the body had been dismembered by a saw.

Stevens had been convicted of sexual misconduct involving Sellers in Izard County Circuit Court in 1995. He pleaded guilty to charges of sexual solicitation of a child and was sentenced to one year, suspended.

David Huffmaster, criminal investigator in Sharp County, said Stevens had killed his father in 1975 in what was determined to be a justifiable homicide.



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