Posted: Mar 21, 2012 2:16 PM by Q2 News
Updated: Mar 22, 2012 10:25 AM
BILLINGS - Federal and multi-state law enforcement officers have recovered a body believed to be that of missing Sidney teacher Sherry Arnold.
The body was found east of Williston, North Dakota on Tuesday, more than two months after Arnold went missing. On Wednesday morning, the body was flown to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Montana where it will be examined and positively identified.
Arnold, 43, went for a jog at about 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 7 in Sidney and never returned home.
Two Colorado men are being held in connection with her disappearance. Lester Waters Jr., 47, and Michael Spell, 22, are behind bars in the Richland County Jail awaiting trial.
In court documents, Spell confessed the men were high on crack when they came through Sidney on their way to the oil fields of North Dakota. Spell says Waters wanted to kidnap and kill a female. The two spotted Sherry jogging along Ninth Ave., commonly known as the Truck Route, and Spell grabbed her and pulled her into their vehicle, according to court documents. Spell told authorities Waters got in the back seat and "choked her out."
According to the report, Spell says Waters told him he would kill Spell and his family if Spell ever told anyone what happened.
The two then drove across state lines to Williston, North Dakota. Spell told authorities that they threw Arnold's clothing in a Dumpster at Lonnie's Truck Stop across the street from Walmart in Williston.
Spell said he and Waters drove to a rural area outside of Williston and dropped off Arnold's body. The two then reportedly returned to Williston and purchased a shovel at Walmart. The two returned to the body, and Spell said Waters made him dig a hole two or three feet deep, and then they placed the her body in the hole. Spell said the grave site was at the end of a shelter belt on an old farmstead in a rural, isolated area outside of Williston.
The recovery and investigation was a collaboration between the FBI, Williams County Sheriff's Office, Williston Police Department, Richland County Sheriff's Office and Sidney Police Department.
We will bring you more details as this story develops.