Parolee arrested in case of missing Arkansas real estate agent

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 29, 2014 3:55 PM

By Steve Barnes

LITTLE ROCK Ark. (Reuters) - A 33-year-old Arkansas prison parolee was arrested on Monday after an intensive manhunt on suspicion of being responsible for the disappearance of a real estate agent last Thursday.

The broker, 49-year-old Beverly Carter, had told associates she was meeting a prospective buyer at a property in Scott, Arkansas, a sparsely populated community east of Little Rock, before she went missing.

"We're holding out hope she is still alive," said Sheriff Doc Holladay of Pulaski County.

Aaron Lewis was named in an arrest warrant issued on Sunday. Lewis, whose picture had been widely circulated, was taken into custody in suburban west Little Rock after office workers spotted him at a bus stop and alerted police.

Lewis fled to a nearby apartment complex but was soon arrested, the sheriff's office said.

"He is being interviewed about Ms. Carter's disappearance," Holladay said.

Over the weekend, more than 200 volunteers helped deputies comb the area near the house where Carter's car was found.

Her husband alerted authorities after she failed to return home on Thursday night.

Arkansas officials said Lewis was on parole for theft convictions in Arkansas and also had a criminal history in Utah and Kansas.

Miki Bass, chief executive of the Arkansas Realtors Association, said the incident had sent shockwaves through the industry.

"It's a different world out there today, a dangerous world. We’re going to have to re-educate our members," Bass said.

(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Peter Cooney)