FORT SMITH (KFSM) — Police have arrested one man and are searching for another linked to a double homicide last month at the West Apartments complex.
Neirod Medlock, 19, was arrested Thursday (Aug. 16) in connection with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping and one count of residential aggravated burglary -- all Class Y felonies.
Fort Smith police have initiated a nationwide search for the second suspect, Marcus Collins, who is believed to be armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Collins, 29, is asked to call the police department at 479-709-5100.
Anyone with information may also call Crimestoppers at 78-CRIME, where information leading to an arrest in this case may lead to a cash reward up to $1,000.
Police were called about 3:55 a.m. on July 26 to 4118 N. 50th St. for a shooting, where they found 26-year-old Brionna S. Belcher and 43-year-old Jonathan Harris dead from multiple gunshot wounds.
Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Several witnesses told police they saw Collins and Medlock armed with guns at the apartments on the night the couple was killed, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Other witnesses said Medlock planned to rob someone in order to pay a recent ticket.
"The motive was a robbery," said Troy Williams, a detective with the Fort Smith Police Department.
"Once that began it escalated into the deaths of Ms. Belcher and Mr. Harris."
Brionna Belcher's father, Curtis Belcher, said Collins used to live at his home along with his daughter.
"He and Brionna lived with me for a short period of time. I would have never expected this out of him," Curtis Belcher said.
Belcher said he asked Collins to move out at one point because he was not being respectful.
Now that Fort Smith police have declared a nation wide search for Collins, Curtis Belcher said he has a message for the man accused of killing his daughter.
"Turn yourself in buddy. Turn yourself in. You can't go through life living with this on your conscious," he said.
"If anybody knows anything come forward. We need closure. Both families deserve closure."
Medlock was being held Friday (Aug. 17) at the Sebastian County Detention Center on a $650,000 bond. His arraignment hearing is set for Wednesday (Aug. 22) in Sebastian County Circuit Court.
Class Y felonies are the most serious crimes in Arkansas not punishable by death. A person convicted of a Class Y felony could face life in prison, according to Arkansas Code Annotated 5-4-401.