Investigators Have a Suspect in Ark. Tech Student's Death

DECEMBER 22, 2005 - Posted at 11:05 a.m. CST

RUSSELLVILLE, AR - Russellville authorities say investigators have a suspect in last week's death of an Arkansas Tech student who was found dead in her off-campus apartment.

At a news conference Thursday morning, police would not release the name of the suspect, but said investigators do not believe the death of 19-year-old Nona Dirksmeyer on December 15th was a random killing.

Police have interviewed more than 50 people, including Dirksmeyer's boyfriend, who was questioned Wednesday night.

Officials say the suspect has been given a polygraph examination by state police.

Russellville Police Chief James Bacon said police have passed on their investigative reports to Prosecutor David Gibbons.  But the police chief said no one was in custody.

Dirksmeyer was the reigning "Miss Petit Jean Valley" and was a contestant in the Miss Arkansas pageant.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)