Quake Lewellyn is an Arkansas man and family farmer who is being held on a capital murder charge in connection with the disappearance and death of 25-year-old nurse and jogger Sydney Sutherland, according to KARK 4 News.
Sutherland was last seen August 19 while jogging, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. Her body was discovered two days later, authorities said in a news release. “We did discover the body of a female believed to be Sydney,” the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said, confirming they have a suspect in custody. Police have not officially identified Lewellyn as the suspect in custody, but his name and the murder charges against him can be seen in jail records. Local news outlets confirmed the connection to the case through sources.
Sutherland’s body is now at the Arkansas Crime Lab while an investigation is underway, authorities said in a news conference. Heavy has reached out to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and is awaiting a response.
Here’s what you need to know about Quake Lewellyn and the murder of Sydney Sutherland:
1. Lewellyn Is a Third-Generation Farmer Who Said He ‘Always Worked on the Farm’
Lewellyn is a farmer who, together with three generations of his family, has owned and operated Lewellyn Farms in Newport, Arkansas, in Jackson County, for several years, according to an Arkansas Online article celebrating a 2016 award.
The article says that “the patriarch of the family” was assisted in his operation by “grandson, Quake Lewellyn.” Quake and two other members of the family “have their own farms as well,” the article says. “The Lewellyns are the 2016 Jackson County Farm Family of the Year,” it says.
The article says the family members “farm 5,800 acres in four counties — Jackson, Independence, Poinsett and Craighead. They raise 4,000 acres of rice and 1,800 acres of soybeans, which are all irrigated, and 100 acres of wheat.”
According to the article, Quake Lewellyn graduated from Tuckerman High School in 2010, and he told the publication, “I’ve always worked on the farm. I began driving a yellow Ford, … hauling seed for Dad. We all have our own farms, but we help each other out.”
RiverCountry967 ran a series of photos of the family, congratulating them for being selected the county farm of the year in 2016.
2. Authorities Said Lewellyn Was Familiar With Sutherland Before the Murder
Lewellyn is believed to have “been familiar” with Sutherland, authorities said in the news conference, but they weren’t more specific.
Jail records say that Lewellyn was taken into custody on Aug 21, 2020 at 7:52 p.m. He is in the Jackson County Jail.
On August 20, Jackson County authorities announced that Sutherland had disappeared, saying she was last seen running near Highway 18 “between Newport and Grubbs” around 2:30 in the afternoon.
Sutherland, sporting blonde hair and brown eyes, stood at 5’3″ tall and weighed 103 lbs., according to the Jackson County Emergency Management’s Facebook page.
County officials were accompanied in their search by volunteers, Arkansas Department of Corrections search dogs and a helicopter from the Arkansas State Police, KATV reported.
Authorities didn’t release details on the manner of death or when Sutherland was killed.
3. Lewellyn Wrote on Facebook He Was Married & Filled Social Media With Declarations of Love to His Spouse
Lewellyn’s Facebook page is filled with posts expressing love for his wife. The page also contains photos of him with three children.
“Now words could ever describe how much I love you…My beautiful love. My baby darlin,” Lewellyn wrote in 2017.
In 2015, he wrote of the same woman, “Shout out to awesomely amazing girlfriend…for being so patient with me and taking care of me when I’m down. I love you baby girl.” They got engaged in 2016, and he called her the love of his life, saying, “the moment I got on my knee and looked into your eyes to ask I got so long in them like I always do.”
That same year he wrote, “I believe in Jesus Christ and accepted him as my savior. One Facebooker has challenged all believers to put this on their wall. In The Bible it says, if you deny me in front of your peers, I’ll deny you in front my father at the Gates of Heaven.”
A text was written to Lewellyn in 2016 that was headlined “stud muffin,” and said, “I love you so much honey bear. Thanks for the fun time at deer camp.”
His Facebook page said he was married.
Sutherland went to a gym on Wednesday in the city of Jonesboro, Fox16.com reported, citing officials. Investigators set out to study the facility’s surveillance video for possible clues, the outlet added.
A UPS driver also confirmed to authorities that she saw Sutherland jogging near County Road 41 on the evening of August 19, Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas said during a Thursday press conference, according to WMC-TV.
Arkansas voter records show the suspect is registered to vote but didn’t choose a party affiliation.
4. Sutherland Shared a Joking Meme About Being Murdered Only a Few Weeks Ago
One July 24 post on Sutherland’s Facebook page is chillin in retrospect.
“If I’m ever murdered, just know I ran my mouth to the bitter end,” the graphic she shared read. “Yes,” she wrote in the status.
Authorities located Sutherland’s cell-phone, WMC-TV reported.
They discovered the cellular device about a quarter-mile from her home and Highway 67, the station added.
The sheriff’s office disclosed that AT&T received several pings from Sutherland’s phone in the area of her sighting, Fox16.com reported.
Lucas said the 25-year-old had her phone and Apple Watch with her, the outlet added.
According to her Facebook page, Sutherland worked as an “RN at Unity Health Harris Medical Center.” She went to Tuckerman High School, was from Grubbs, Arkansas, and listed herself as single. Her most recent post was about a rummage sale.
“There’s always going to be people that are quick to judge by your outer layer before they learn your heart! This describes me to a T❤️❤️❤️” she wrote in a recent post.
Sutherland lived with her boyfriend on Highway 18, between Newport and Grubbs, Lucas indicated to Fox16.com. Her posts often show her with a young child.
The sheriff disclosed that there were no signs pointing to any issues between the couple, the outlet reported.
Sutherland, who was also a nurse, took frequent walks or jogs in the area, according to Fox16.com and the 25-year-old’s Facebook page.
5. The Suspect Shared a Diagram of a Gun & Wrote About National Unity After September 11
His top post on July 24 said, “So black people can’t buy bicycles?” The context is unclear because the post he shared is no longer visible. In June he wrote, “Things were pretty decent until you non essentials got let out of quarantine. I said what I said.”
One post showed the diagram of a gun. “To keep freedom stable and to keep freedom precise” were identified as parts of it, along with other phrases.”
In 2019, he wrote, “I miss 9/12. I would never ever want another 9/11, but I miss the America of 9/12. Stores ran out of flags to sell because they were being flown everywhere. People were Americans before they were upper/lower class, Jewish/Christian, Republican/Democrat. We hugged people without caring if they ate at Chic-Fil-A (sic) or wore Nikes. On 9/12, what mattered more was what united us, than what divided us.”
In 2018, he wrote, “It might be lonely at the top, but it’s a b*tch at the bottom.”
In 2017, he wrote, ‘This is to the most beautiful lady that I have ever met. I wish I had the right words to explain how much I love you. I see you lying next to me With words I thought I’d never speak. Aware and unafraid I am not afraid to keep on living. I am not afraid to walk this world alone Honey, if you stay you’ll be forgiven. Nothing you can say can stop me coming home.”
“We try so hard not to die, sometimes we forget to appreciate life,” he wrote in 2015.