Missing Tyronza girl found dead

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

The nearly four-month search for missing Tyronza teenager Jennifer Ann Gill took a tragic turn last Friday, as law enforcement officials from the state and two Arkansas counties discovered a 2002 Ford Mustang, along with a body in the vehicle, in a pond near I-55 in Crittenden County.

According to Sgt. Rick Dickinson of the Arkansas State Police, members of the Arkansas State Police and Poinsett Co. Sheriff's Department last Friday began to retrace the probable route that Gill would have taken the morning that she disappeared. Those law enforcement officials, which included Sr. Special Agent Bobby Stabbs of the Arkansas State Police and Criminal Investigator David Layman of the Poinsett County Sheriff's Department, began to check several bodies of water along the route for signs that a vehicle had ran into the water. The search intensified late Friday afternoon, when near a pond on the southbound side of I-55 at the 17-mile marker near Jericho, officials found debris from a vehicle. The pieces of debris were later identified by a Ford dealership in the area as coming from a vehicle like Gill's 2002 Ford Mustang. After discovering the debris, the Crittenden County Search and Rescue Team were called to the scene to drag the pond. At approximately 7:30 p.m. Friday night, the vehicle, a black 2002 Ford Mustang was located and pulled from the pond. At the scene, the vehicle was identified as Gill's vehicle. The body, identified Monday through dental records, was that of Jennifer Ann Gill, law enforcement officials confirmed Tuesday. Law enforcement officials also confirmed that the preliminary cause of death, as determined by the Arkansas State Medical Examiner's Office was a result of drowning.

Jennifer Gill, who was missing for 97 days, was last seen at a Marked Tree car wash on the morning of August 17.

As for the investigation into Gill's disappearance, Poinsett County Sheriff Larry Mills told the Tri-City Tribune Tuesday that after Special Agent Bobby Stabbs and Crim. Investigator David Layman discovered the debris and officials discovered the car, the investigation quickly turned from a missing person's case to a traffic accident case. Sheriff Mills said, "In an investigation, different individuals bring to the case different things and complete specific tasks." Sheriff Mills added that these same individuals help each other out and add to the investigation, by using their expertise to bring the case to a conclusion.

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