INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - A Pleasant Plains man facing multiple counts of rape is dead.
Independence County Sheriff Shawn Stephens confirmed Lonnie Keith Cavaness died on Nov. 20. This, after no one, was able to find Cavaness after rumors of his death made it to the sheriff’s office. Sheriff Stephens told Region 8 News, they’ve heard the same rumor, but said: “I don’t have any idea.”
A failure to appear warrant was issued for 60-year-old Lonnie Keith Cavaness after he missed his last court appearance on Nov. 23.
Sheriff Stephens said he drove out to Cavaness’ home the day he missed court, but he was nowhere to be found.
Stephens said Cavaness had a $500,000 bond but was later released to a local hospital because of a serious medical condition Cavaness had before he was ever arrested. No details were released on what the medical condition is.
On July 29, the Independence County Sheriff’s Office received a referral from the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division regarding alleged child sexual abuse.
The child’s parent reported a “change in the female juvenile” and the child’s younger brother since January.
During an interview at the Child Safety Center, according to the probable cause affidavit, the female victim reported the suspect, identified as 60-year-old Lonnie Keith Cavaness, penetrated her in various ways too graphic to report here.
The child reportedly told Detective Sergeant Zach Rawlins “the sexual acts hurt her.”
She also claimed Cavaness had a “doll” in his closet. According to the affidavit, she said Cavaness made her play with the doll “while he engaged in sexual intercourse with the doll.”
Detectives then went to Cavaness’s home in Pleasant Plains, where they reported finding a female blow-up doll with a pump during a search.