The Phillips County Sheriff's Department reported Monday that the burned body discovered on Highway 44 just north of Highway 242 near Helena was identified to be that of Elliot Bennett of Helena-West Helena. The Arkansas State Crime in Little Rock made the identification on Thursday.
The body was found Dec. 18 at approximately 8:30 a.m. Helena-West Helena police officers responded to the call and preserved the crime scene until Phillips County Sheriff's Department criminal investigators and Arkansas State Police arrived to process the area.
At the time Phillips County Sheriff's deputies had little information to go on. The body was so badly burned it could not be determined whether it was the body of a black or white male. The remains were sent to the state crime lab for an autopsy.
A passerby told a Memphis television station that that he saw the burned body just after midnight while driving along Highway 44 on his way to check his repair shop in the area. The man reported that he thought the body was a charred mannequin. He said when he saw investigators on the roadside he realized that he had indeed seen a body.
No additional information was made available by the Sheriff's Office at this time pending further investigation.