Update 14/2013) The body found on Highway 44 near the junction of Highway 242 is that of Elliot Bennett of the Helena West Helena area.
(Helena-West Helena, AR) A burned body found on the side of the road near Helena-West Helena is being sent to the Arkansas Medical Examiner for an autopsy.
Investigators don’t know who the man is and are asking area law enforcement agencies for help.
The body was found Tuesday morning on Highway 44 near the junction of Highway 242, and is not the first body found in that part of Phillips County.
Phillips County, Arkansas Sheriff Ronnie White says his department has very little to go on, “He’s so badly burned that we don’t know if he is a white male or a black male.”
Sheriff White says the remains will be sent to the Arkansas Medical Examiner’s office in hopes of learning who the victim is, why he was so badly burned and when the crime was committed.
John Tilson owns a small auto repair shop in Phillips County and he actually saw the burned body just after midnight Monday while driving along Highway 44,
“I was on my way down here to check my repair shop right here.”
At first Tilson thought it was a burned mannequin,
“And I noticed it was burning…and that was it.”
He didn’t realize until Tuesday morning, when he saw investigators on the roadside, that he really ‘did’ see ‘a’ body,
“A female deputy come up and asked me, ‘Did I see anything or hear anything out here?’ And I told her I saw that down there burning last night about 12:05.”
Tilson says it’s not the first time a body has been found in this part of Phillips County, but this was way too close to his business for comfort,
“On this end, it’s kind of a scarry deal now. You don’t know what to expect.”
On June 23rd, 2011 the body of Steven Clement was located in the woods near the intersection of Highways 44 and 242.
Clement, a musician from Helena-West helena, went missing June 5th after his bloody truck was found at a motel.
Two persons were charged with his death.