Craighead County murder suspect still at large, neighbors worried

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Several days after a Craighead County woman was found murdered inside her home, the sheriff says they still have no suspects and no new information.

The sheriff's department spent the weekend continuing their investigation, but Sheriff Jack McCann said Monday there still is no suspect.

Neighbors have spent the holiday weekend on edge after the death of their neighbor, 83-year-old Helen Johnson.

Brenda Webb lives just a few houses down from where Johnson was murdered.  She said the knowledge that something like this happened so close to her and her family has caused her to be afraid for her safety.

"It's been a little upsetting still, you know, because they haven't gotten anybody and we don't know if it could be one of the neighbors out here," said Webb.

The Craighead County Sheriff's Department is still trying to determine who killed Johnson.  Until then, Webb and her family have made some changes.

"We have to lock our doors now.  We never locked our doors before.  This community has always been an open and friendly community and I would leave my house unlocked all the time but that's not happening anymore," said Webb.

Many of the folks who live on County Road 333 now say they get worried if someone pulls up in their driveway or knocks on their door.

"Used to, you know, if a stranger came up we figured they had some kind of trouble or something, you know, needed some help but anymore you're going to have a tough time getting into my front door," said Webb.

She said folks are also taking other steps to protect their safety.

"I have heard mention of people getting their guns out and loading them where they haven't before," said Webb.

One neighbor who didn't want to go on camera said this situation makes him feel very uneasy, especially with the uncertainty about who did this and the question of why.

"It's kind of scary, you know?  We just feel helpless and afraid," said Webb.

Until this crime is solved, and even afterward, the way Webb looks at life outside her home will be different.

"Now our community has changed, not for the better, but I hope they find whoever did it really, really fast.  She deserves justice," said Webb.

Johnson's body was sent to the state crime lab last Thursday and the Craighead County Sheriff's Department is waiting for the autopsy results to come back so they can get an official cause of death.

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