MENA, Ark. (AP) — A 37-year-old man has been charged with capital murder in the deaths of his girlfriend, her two children and her uncle, whose bodies were found in different locations last week in western Arkansas.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2qtUgRy ) reports that Brian Bliss Travis was arraigned Monday, two days after he told police in an interview that he killed the two adults and two children, according to a probable cause affidavit. The bodies were found in and around Hatfield, a small town about 140 miles (225 kilometers) west of Little Rock.
Officers from the Mena Police Department were sent to his girlfriend's home after her employer reported she hadn't been to work in a week. Officers found Travis at her home and arrested him on an outstanding warrant, according to court documents.
Authorities discovered the body of his girlfriend, 43-year-old Bethany Jo Wester, last Tuesday in a creek southeast of Cove, a few miles south of Hatfield. Her 66-year-old uncle, Steven Payne, was found dead two days later in his Hatfield home.
Wester's children — 2-year-old Acelynn Wester and 9-year-old Reilly Scarbrough — were found dead Friday and Saturday. The children hadn't been seen in at least six days.
Court documents say Travis led investigators to Reilly's body.
"This is not the conclusion ... we were hoping and praying for," Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer said Saturday evening after the boy's body was found.
The sheriff's office has released no details about how or why the four were killed. Polk County Circuit Judge Jerry Ryan has issued a gag order that prevents attorneys involved in the case from commenting.