Body of woman found near I-55 in Crittenden County

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JERICHO, Ark. -- Arkansas State Police have a mystery on their hands after a woman was found dead  in Crittenden County near to I-55.

She was found in a ditch north of the Jericho Arkansas exit. State Police think she was hit by a vehicle and killed.

William Jones discovered the woman's body Thursday morning after finding her backpack in the road near his work place.

"And I could make out something blue laying in the grass, the grassy ditch. So I walked out to the side of the road and sure enough, it was a body laying there," said Jones.

It was something Jones hopes he never sees again: a body less than a hundred feet from I-55 Auto Parts where he works.

"It was clear that she was dead. I yelled out one time, 'Ma'am?' And there wasn't no response. So yeah, it was a horrible thing, " said Jones.

Jones' bizarre day started around 5:45 Thursday morning when he and another worker were driving on a service road parallel to Interstate-55.

They spotted a backpack in the road and picked it up, but because it was still dark, they didn't see the woman's body.

Jones said after he got to work, he decided to look in the backpack. He said he knew immediately something wasn't right.

He found a couple of IDs, clothing and some other personal things inside the backpack.

"It was like some medicine bottles or something in an American flag was in it. And a blanket, looked like a cheap wool blanket was in it," said Jones.

When it got light, Jones went outside to check the area.

That's when he saw the woman.

"She was laying on her stomach. And her shirt was pulled up on her back to where you could see a tattoo on her back. But you couldn't see no hair or nothing. She had a hoodie or something on, but you couldn't see any hair or make out any features," said Jones.

Jones called 9-1-1 and saw investigators picking up what looked like vehicle parts near the entrance ramp to I-55 North.

"It would make sense that she was probably walking and got hit, but I can't honestly say that's what happened, you know?" said Jones.

Jones said the memory of what he saw Thursday morning will stay with him for a long time.

"Bless her heart! What a horrible way to go," said Jones.

A spokesperson with the Arkansas State Police said the woman's body has been sent to the State Crime Laboratory to determine exactly how she died.

The woman's identity has not been released.

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