Sex offender arrested in Blytheville woman’s murder

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BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. — A known sex offender is being charged with first-degree murder after police say he admitted to assaulting a young mother whose body was found Wednesday.

Harold Bennett, 43, was taken into custody on outstanding warrants unrelated to the murder. Bennett is listed as a level 4 sex offender and was wanted by the state of Arkansas as a parole absconder, police said.

Harold Bennett

Blytheville Police say Bennett admitted in an interview Thursday that he had assaulted 29-year-old Bianca Rainer and provided investigators with several details of the assault. They say physical evidence was also found that they believe connects Bennett to the crime.

Bond has not been set.

Rainer's body was found by utility workers Wednesday morning on West Cherry Street in Blytheville. A medical examiner on Friday ruled her death a homicide.

Rainer's grandmother said she was a working mother of two.

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