Neighbors describe murder of 11-year-old as heartbreaking - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Neighbors describe murder of 11-year-old as heartbreaking

Jessica was one of about a 100 middle school students in the sixth grade. Students and staff honored her Thursday by wearing her favorite color, purple. Jessica was one of about a 100 middle school students in the sixth grade. Students and staff honored her Thursday by wearing her favorite color, purple.
Now, students are dealing with news that accused murderer, Christopher Sowell, was walking the same campus with Williams. He attended the high school just a few steps from the middle school. Now, students are dealing with news that accused murderer, Christopher Sowell, was walking the same campus with Williams. He attended the high school just a few steps from the middle school.

(WMC-TV) - A town of just over 3,000 people is outraged that a 17-year-old is allegedly responsible for strangling and pushing 11-year-old Jessica Williams off of a bridge.

Flags on the campus of Gosnell Public Schools flew at half-mast while students and faculty suffered through a horrific loss.

Jessica was one of about a 100 middle school students in the sixth grade. Students and staff honored her Thursday by wearing her favorite color, purple.

Now, students are dealing with news that accused murderer, Christopher Sowell, was walking the same campus with Williams. He attended the high school just a few steps from the middle school.

"It's a sad day for us, we're trying to just get through the day," said superintendent Bonard Mac.

Katherine Wright remembers Sowell as a quiet 10th grader when she was a senior two years ago.

"It's kind of heartbreaking because you don't think that would happen in your town," she said.

Neighbors who share the same street with Sowell and the 11-year-old murder victim claim there were warning signs.

"Something was suspicious about him, I knew it from the start," said neighbor Elizabeth Lowe.

Paulette King says Jessica was uncomfortable riding the same school bus with Sowell.

"She said, 'Paulette, I'm getting scared of him,'" she said.

Now everyone wonders if there was something that could have prevented a terrible tragedy.

"I'm gonna miss her a lot," said King.

Donations can be made at the 400 W. Main St. Branch in Blytheville to help pay for the funeral.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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