Mystery still surrounds the identity of the charred remains found in the trunk of a burned vehicle in western Phillips County but according to Arkansas State Police two arrests have been made in the case. The incident occurred near the Poplar Grove community in the early morning hours of Friday, March 1.
In a press release, Arkansas State Police announced that they have arrested Eric Dewayne Speaks Jr. of Poplar Grove and Daron Lee Nelson of Marvell. Both face charges of capital murder, kidnapping and arson.
Phillips County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call from Poplar Grove residents who reported hearing a loud noise they described as an explosion and seeing flames in a wooded area about ¼ mile south of Highway 49.
Sgt. Sylvester Rose and Lt. Bryan Holloway were the first law enforcement officers to arrive at the scene. They found a charred vehicle, believed to be a Crown Victoria, in a wooded area about 250 feet from the highway.
On further investigation, the deputies looked inside the trunk of the vehicle and found a badly burned body.
ASP officials reported that the Arkansas State Crime Lab has not yet identified the victim. The final medical examiner's report is expected to furnish State Police special investigators with the cause of death.
Nelson, 23, surrendered to ASP special agents, Little Rock Police officers and U.S. Marshals without incident at an apartment complex in Little Rock. The investigation continues regarding the murder and Nelson's connection to the Little Rock apartment where he was arrested.