Neighbor Of Slain Kansas Couple Reacts To Their Deaths

NATURAL DAM (KFSM) -- Crawford County authorities on Thursday (July 19) continue to investigate that double murder of a Kansas couple, and their neighbor reacts to their deaths.

Crawford County sheriff's investigators say Sonny and Pauline Carpenter of Wichita, Kansas, were found in a shallow grave in rural Crawford County.

Investigators arrested three people in connection with the deaths -- Kimberly Younger, Rusty Frasier and Michael Fowler. They are each charged with abuse of a corpse, theft of property and tampering with physical evidence.

They trio is linked to a carnival in Wichita where the Carpenters were last seen.

Our Wichita affiliate, KWCH, spoke with the couple's neighbor after he found out about their deaths.

"Just a nice couple," Martin Smith said of Sonny and Pauline Carpenter. "Been friends for 15 years. Couldn't find nicer people.

"It's just a shame what happened," said Smith, who told KWCH he lived across the street from the couple for years. He said the Carpenters often traveled to different shows and fairs to sell what he described as trinkets.

"They were retired, you know," Smith said. "So they did this, just -- they enjoyed doing it. I guess they'd been doing it for years."

Smith said the Carpenters left last Tuesday for the Barton County Fair and were supposed to come home Sunday before heading to Missouri. When they didn't come back, he tried calling but never got hold of anyone. He eventually talked to the police and the couple's daughter.

"They were very, very nice people," he said. "It's just tragic for the family."

Investigators believe the murders took place in Kansas but the bodies were brought to Arkansas in the couple's camper. The couple reportedly disappeared from the Barton County Fairgrounds, about 260 miles away from Crawford County.