The body of a 7-year-old girl missing since Sunday was found Thursday night in a northeastern Arkansas field not far from where her shoes and pink bicycle had been recovered days earlier.
The family’s pastor, the Rev. Stephen Chitman, said police searching among corn and soybean fields found the body of Patricia Ann Miles, who disappeared Sunday morning after riding her bike to a grocery store. Television footage showed family members wailing after officers told them about her death.
Neither the state police nor the Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office would provide further details Thursday night.
Patricia’s pink bicycle was found early Monday in a cornfield, about 100 yards from her shoes.
A family friend was arrested on a kidnapping charge and was being held on $1 million bond. Jo Ann Buchanan, who occasionally baby-sat the girl, has refused to cooperate with authorities.
Investigators have not offered a motive for the kidnapping and Buchanan’s relatives have insisted she is innocent.
Witnesses have said they saw the girl get into a van with Buchanan Sunday morning and later saw Buchanan take the girl’s bicycle from the van in a rural area north of Gilmore, in northeastern Arkansas.
More than 100 police officers and volunteers combed farmland, fields and ditches in the search for Patricia.