BENTONVILLE (KFSM) ~ A preliminary autopsy report from the State Crime Lab indicates that Nelma Darline Conklin’s death was a homicide, but police are still looking for the woman’s grandson.
“Today the Arkansas State Crime Lab medical examiner’s office completed the initial phases of an autopsy,” said Chief Jon Simpson of the Bentonville Police Department. “It was during that autopsy that we were able to use information they gave us to categorize the manner of death as being a homicide.”
With the death labeled a homicide, police are now looking for Conklin’s grandson, 26-year-old Michael Conklin, who hasn’t been seen since the investigation began.
“Obviously the grandson is still a person of interest that we need to talk to [in order] to try and continue this investigation,” Chief Simpson said.
Neighbors of Conklin tell 5NEWS that they never really saw Michael around, but that his unknown whereabouts raise red flags.
“That would make me highly suspect him,” said Charles Wilson, a neighbor.
Conklin’s 2013 silver Ford Focus is missing as well.
“With him gone, and her car gone, that’s just highly suspicious,” Wilson said.
Police won’t comment on the cause of death at this time due to the case being relatively new.
“Obviously this investigation is brand new,” Chief Simpson said. “There’s not a whole lot of details we can release, because clearly we want to protect certain details for the investigation. We don’t want to do anything at this point that might jeopardize the investigation that we have started.”
Police say they still have plenty of work remaining in this investigation before they can make any official conclusions.
“The information that we have right now is simply based upon their initial findings, not conclusions,” Chief Simpson said.
Meanwhile, neighbors say they never expected something like this to happen in their neighborhood. Some say they hope Michael Conklin will speak to police soon.
“It makes me wonder if we’re all safe here,” Wilson said.
Police say Michael Conklin is not considered a suspect at this time.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Michael Conklin is asked to contact Bentonville Police immediately.