Teen Neighbor Arrested in 11-Year-Old Girl’s Death

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A 17-year-old boy was arrested late Wednesday night after the body of an 11-year-old Mississippi County girl was found in a ditch.

Christopher Sowell was arrested on a charge of first degree murder in the death of 11-year-old Jessica Williams and was expected to be arraigned Thursday afternoon, Mississippi County Sheriff Dale Cook said Thursday (Aug. 29). Sowell is being charged as an adult in the case.

Deputies say Sowell was a neighbor and rode the school bus with Williams.

Sowell told authorities that he and Williams were talking and she made him angry, WREG reports. He claimed he pushed her down and she threatened to tell her father.

That’s when Sowell said he got scared and choked her until “she got wide-eyed” then pushed her into the water near the bridge they were standing on.

Courtesy the Blytheville Courier News

Courtesy the Blytheville Courier News

The little girl’s body was found in a water-filled ditch near Gosnell, Arkansas Wednesday morning. The cause of death has not been determined.

Williams was reported missing Tuesday night around 9 p.m. She’d last been seen playing with her dog outside her home.

The Blytheville Courier reports the Williams’ bicycle was found in a ditch near a house down the road ‘but that the place where her body was found was not anywhere it would be easy to walk or ride a bike.’

George Brown, WREG contributed to this report

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