Friends, family remember murdered store clerk as happy and hardworking

Friends, family remember murdered store clerk as happy and hardworking
Stacy Quintana (Source: KAIT)

GREENE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A small community was rocked Wednesday after a well-known store clerk was killed outside of the Lorado Grocery Store.

The Greene County Sheriff's Department was called to the scene just before 8 a.m. Wednesday. They were called there by a man who had been stabbed outside the store and witnessed Stacy Quintana's murder.

Quintana, 45, was found inside her car, shot to death.

A suspect, Stacy Keplinger, 36, of Leachville was taken into custody on Highway 168 shortly after the man who was stabbed called 911.

Hours later, her loved ones gathered in front of the store, still trying to grasp that she's gone.

"It still hasn't really set in," Quintana's son Chris Mullins said. "Words don't really know how to explain's just a case of bad things happening to good people."

During the vigil, flowers were placed at a makeshift memorial in front of the Lorado Grocery Store. At the same time, candles were lit and gospel music filled the air.

Mullins said many will remember his mother as a happy, hardworking person.

"I'd come up here just to hang out with her, just because it was that much fun to be around her," Mullins said.

Many others at the vigil shared the same sentiments.

"Every time you came in, if you weren't feeling good or you didn't have a smile on your face, you would before you left," Ernie Christmas, a friend and customer of Quintana said.

"She's been here a long time," Joey Huffman said. "We learned to love her and learned to grow with her in this community and everyone here loves her...we're gonna miss her."

Quintana, who would have worked from open til close Wednesday, was shot and killed before 8 a.m. It's an act of violence that has shocked the small community of Lorado.

"It makes you see how precious everyone is to you. You don't ever expect to see this happen to anybody," Quintana's nephew Jacob Pugsley said.

Many at Quintana's vigil told Region 8 News that she was like family. Whether related by blood or not though, so many simply wish they could give one final message to a woman they called beautiful inside and out.

"Thank you... thank you for being our friend and a great person in the community," Kristie Huffman said. "We love you!"

"I love her," Curtis Robinson said, choking back tears. "That's what I'd tell her."

Greene County Sheriff David Carter tells Region 8 News that it appears the motive behind the murder is robbery. Carter said Stacy Keplinger is being charged with capital murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping and 1st degree battery.

Funeral Arrangements

Funeral arrangements for Stacy Quintana were announced Thursday afternoon.

According to the Lorado Grocery Store, where Quintana worked for years as the general manager, her funeral will take place Saturday at Phillip's Funeral Home in Paragould.

To read Quintana's obituary, click here.

Visitation is from 11 to 1 with funeral services to follow.

Friends and family of Quintana are raising money to help with her funeral expenses.

They've set up a Generosity account and in the just one day, more than $1,000 has been donated.

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