Police say they don’t know if a man who has been questioned in connection with the death of Casey Crowder knew the 17-year-old Pine Bluff girl. “We don’t know if he knew her or not,” said Desha County Sheriff-elect Jim Snyder. “We’re treating it as time and opportunity.”
The man, a Southeast Arkansas resident, owns a white Chevrolet pickup truck police stopped Sunday during a roadblock on U.S. 65, in the area where Casey’s abandoned vehicle was found the previous Sunday.
Casey’s vehicle ran out of gas on U.S. 65 around 6 a.m. Aug. 27, as she was returning home to Pine Bluff from her boyfriend’s home at Pickens, a small farming community south of Dumas.
“It was just the perfect time of day and opportunity,” Snyder said, referring to the lack of traffic during the early morning hours on Sundays.
The man’s vehicle is currently being processed at the state crime lab.
Police won’t say why this particular truck is of any more interest than any other vehicle stopped at the road block.
“The owner of that vehicle is a person of interest,” Snyder said. “We’ve interviewed him several times. He’s not in custody. We have other leads we’re following.”
Casey, who had just began her senior year at Watson Chapel High School, was a “spunky tomboy,” who loved to fish and hunt, according to her mother, Melinda Crowder.
She played softball, sang in the school choir, and was active member of her church’s youth program.
While authorities have confirmed that Casey’s death was a homicide, they remain tight-lipped about the manner in which she died.
“I respectfully decline to disclose it other than it was homicide,” said 10th Judicial District Prosecutor Thomas Deen.
“I feel very circumspect about what should be released at this point in the investigation,” he said. “I expect to try this case in front of a jury one day and I don’t want anything I, or law enforcement officers, have said to prejudice that trial.”
Memorial services for Casey Crowder will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at First Christian Church. Burial will be private.