January 28, 2009 Edition

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Body recovered near Clover Bend,
two suspects arrested

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

Gloria Wilkerson Staff Writer

The body of a Randolph County man was found in Black River, near Clover Bend, Saturday by the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department. The death was caused by foul play.

Captain Jody Dotson of the LCSD said they received a tip about a possible body on the bank of Black River about 5 p.m. on Saturday. A deputy was dispatched to the area and found the body of an adult male. The victim has been identified as Ronald D. Cathey, 51, of Pocahontas.

According to a report from the sheriff's department, the deputy reported his discovery and other officers and the Arkansas State Police were called to assist in the investigation.

The report also states that evidence gathered at the crime scene led officers to believe the primary crime scene was at another location. Officers also learned of some possible leads, which they followed up with interviews. They also learned of the possible name of the male subject and that the crime had taken place in Randolph County.

"Randolph County Sheriff Gary Tribble was contacted with the information," Capt. Dotson said. "The name of a possible suspect the officers had learned of, along with all other information was sent with State Police to Randolph County."

Lawrence County Sheriff Dan Ellison said Cathey's body had been dumped in a heavily wooded embankment, but the killers were unable to get it into moving water.

"Reserve Deputy Michael Bristow and firefighter Tim Mansfield, both of Lynn, were called to recover the body by boat," Ellison said. "They did a great job for us." Bristow said they traveled approximately nineand-a-half miles by boat to retrieve the body. "The body had been wrapped in a tarpaulin and weighted down with bricks," said Bristow.

After examining the body Saturday night, Lawrence County Coroner Chris Warden reported that Cathey was stabbed and beaten to death. Specific injuries were not released because of the ongoing investigation, he said, and the body has been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy.

Suspects arrested

Two suspects have been arrested in the case. They were arrested in another state on Monday and must be extradited, Sheriff Tribble said. The names of the suspects nor their relationship to the victim have not been released at this time.

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