Level 4 sex offender accused of killing Blytheville woman

Published: Jun. 22, 2018 at 7:26 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2018 at 7:22 AM CDT
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BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Police say a Level 4 sex offender admitted to assaulting a woman earlier this week, killing her.

Harold Bennett, 43, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Bianca Rainer.

On Wednesday, utility workers found the 29-year-old woman's body in a home in the 2000-block of West Cherry. Her body was sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office to determine the cause of death.

According to a news release from Chief Ross Thompson, Bennett "admitted to assaulting Rainer and provided investigators with several details of the assault."

Detectives also reported recovering physical evidence connecting Bennett, who is a Level 4 sex offender, to the deadly assault.

On Friday, the State Medical Examiner's Office ruled that the manner of death was a homicide and provided officers with the cause of death which, according to Thompson, was consistent with Bennett's statements and evidence collected.

Chief Thompson also said their investigation indicates Bennett and Rainer did know each other, and this was not considered a random act.

And Thompson said there is no reason to believe there will be any other arrests in this case.

"It's never great to get a case like this but our investigative team did an outstanding job on it," Thompson said. "They were able to work and really focus on it and we were able to put some good manpower on it. I think that helps bring a quicker resolution to it and obviously any time you can bring a quicker resolution we're hoping that it helps the family of the victim and even helps the community kind of understand what was going on."

Bennett is currently being held on a $1 million temporary bond in the Mississippi County Detention Center.

Bennett, whose registered address is in Walnut Ridge, was wanted as an absconder. Thompson said he had relocated to Blytheville and failed to report the move, as required by state law.

Region 8 News will have more information as details emerge. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for up to the minute updates.

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