Police asking for public's help in robbery, kidnapping, death investigation

Dollar Tree Robbery/Kidnapping
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Wednesday UPDATE: Jonesboro police are now asking for the public's help in solving the case of a store manager who was kidnapped and found dead along I-555 Sunday night.

According to a press release from the police department, they are continuing to follow up on a number of leads from "various sources."

Officers are also combing the area along the route that the suspect took as he left the store with the victim for any possible evidence, witnesses or video surveillance.

Officials with the Arkansas State Crime Lab have also been in contact with investigators, according to the press release, but have not yet completed any reports or released any findings.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Jonesboro Police Department at 870-935-5657 or report it anonymously through Crimestoppers by calling 870-935-7867 (STOP).

2:42 p.m. UPDATE: Monday afternoon, Jonesboro police identified a store worker kidnapped during an armed robbery and later found dead on Interstate 555.

Police found the body of 45-year-old Loretta Ann "Lori" Pixler of Jonesboro late Sunday night near the Payneway exit.

At 9:30 p.m. a man armed with a gun robbed Pixler, who was an assistant manager at the store, and another employee as they left the Dollar Tree store, 2917 E. Nettleton Ave.

The man then forced Pixler into her black Hyundai and drove away with her. Pixler's coworker said he last saw the car heading south on Red Wolf Boulevard.

A short time later Poinsett County authorities and Arkansas State Police received a call from a motorist who said he had hit an "unknown object" on Interstate 555.

Police found Pixler's body near the Payneway exit. They discovered her car in a nearby ditch.

Pixler's body has been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab Medical Examiner's Office to determine cause of death. Her car was also taken to the state crime lab for processing.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance video in an effort to identify the suspect.

Anyone with information on this crime should call the Jonesboro Police Department at (870) 935-5657 or leave an anonymous tip at Crimestoppers, (870) 935-STOP (7867).


1:55 p.m. UPDATE: Police now say they do not know what condition the victim was in when she was hit by a vehicle on Interstate 555.

Following Sunday night's robbery and kidnapping of a Dollar Tree worker, Captain Lynn Waterworth said Poinsett County and Arkansas State Police received a phone call from a driver "claiming that he had hit an unknown object on the road."

When officers arrived, they found the victim dead near the Payneway exit. Her black Hyundai was found in a nearby ditch.

Waterworth said police cannot confirm what state the victim was in before the vehicle struck her.

The body has been sent to the state crime lab for autopsy.

1:15 p.m. UPDATE: While detectives review surveillance video from neighboring businesses, other officers are performing the arduous task of notifying the family members of a Jonesboro store clerk kidnapped and found dead on Interstate 555.

Captain Lynn Waterworth, of the Jonesboro Police Department, said the victim's body was found near the Payneway exit on I-555 Sunday night, not long after a man robbed her and a coworker outside the Dollar Tree store at Nettleton and Red Wolf.

Following the robbery, the man forced the victim into her car and rode away with her. Her body was later found on the interstate.

Waterworth told Region 8 News' Japhanie Gray that investigators are reviewing surveillance video of nearby businesses, hoping to identify the suspect.

She added officers are also busy notifying the victim's family. Until then, the name will not be released.

Region 8 News will continue to update this story as new details emerge.

Jonesboro police are searching for a man suspected of store theft that led to a fatal hit and run.

Around 9:30 Sunday night, a black male armed with a handgun, robbed the Dollar Tree store at the corner of Nettleton and Red Wolf Boulevard, according to a news release from Captain Lynn Waterworth of the Jonesboro Police Department.

The robbery took place as two employees left the store. The suspect took one employee's phone then forced another employee into her vehicle and made her drive away.

The witness said he last saw the vehicle heading south on Red Wolf.

As officers searched for the victim and her car, JPD received a report of a vehicle/pedestrian accident on Interstate 555, Waterworth said.

Poinsett County and Arkansas State Police responded to the scene and discovered the victim was the Dollar Tree employee. She was pronounced dead at the scene.  Police withheld her name pending the notification of family.

While officers investigated the scene, they learned a vehicle had crashed on Highway 14 in Poinsett County. By the time officers arrived, the suspect had run away.

Police said the suspect wore a dark short-sleeved shirt with gray pants. A red bandanna covered his face.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation should contact JPD at 870-935-5657. They can also report his identity or location anonymously through Crimestoppers by calling 870-935-STOP (7867).


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