The Izard County Sheriff’s Office announced an arrest in the Arkansas murder of 22-year-old college student Rebekah Gould. The case had gone on for 16 years without anyone being charged for the crime.
Gould, a college student from Arkansas, went missing in 2004 before her body was found dead from an apparent beating, the Baxter Bulletin reported. The man charged with the crime had spent time abroad before he returned to America and settled in Oregon, where he was eventually arrested.
Here’s what you need to know about the case.
Gould Disappeared on a Drive in Arkansas
Rebekah Christian Gould was a 22-year-old college student who was attending Northwest Arkansas Community College, local news station KNWA/FOX-24 reported and aspired to be a journalist.
News station KATV reported that Gould wanted to eventually attend the University of Arkansas.
However, she would never get the chance, disappearing on a late September day in 2004.
After dropping her boyfriend off at work at the Melbourne Sonic in the morning, Gould had gone to the town of Guion, Arkansas to visit friends before planning to meet with her sister during a drive to Fayetteville, KNWA/FOX-24 reported. The last video evidence to show Gould alive came at the Possum Trot Convenience Store in Melbourne, Arkansas, which showed her make a quick stop on September 20, 2004.
An exhaustive search was conducted in Izard County and other areas where Gould was believed to have visited. Her disappearance was popularized by a true-crime podcast called “Hell and Gone,” which was hosted by author and private investigator Catherine Townsend. Townsend, according to KATV, attended school with Gould’s sister.
“When you work on a lot of true crime cases, usually within the first two or three minutes you can kind of summarize it and figure out the conclusion. This wasn’t like that,” she told the Baxter Bulletin. After the podcast episode, Gould’s disappearance was then picked up by multiple true crime outlets and Gould’s father, the Bulletin reported, even appeared on the “Dr. Oz Show” to bring more attention to the case.
Gould Was Likely Killed in Her Home
The Baxter Bulletin reported that an investigation of Gould’s home turned up Gould’s car, car keys, purse and money, indicating that she had made it back home.
KATV reported that “A check of the home she had been staying in found signs of a struggle, including a bloody mattress that had been flipped over.”
Gould had been missing for a week when, according to a press release from the Izard County Sheriff’s Office, her body was discovered on September 27, 2004 “on a hillside of Arkansas Highway 9 south of Melbourne.”
KATV reported that Gould had been “bludgeoned to death.”
Despite years going by without anyone being charged for the crime, the case was never officially deemed a cold case, according to the Baxter Bulletin. Arkansas State Police Director Colonel Bill Bryant told KNWA/FOX-24, “The special agents assigned to this case never abandoned any hope of finding the necessary evidence and facts to lead them to a suspect and an arrest.”
Miller Has Been Accused of Gould’s Murder
Oxygen reported that 44-year-old William Alma Miller had been arrested and accused of committing the murder during a visit to Izard County. According to Miranda Reynolds, a reporter with North Arkansas news station KAIT, Miller first became a suspect three months ago.
A press release from the Izard County Sheriff’s Office reported that Miller was visiting Izard County when he killed Gould.
Miller had recently become a resident of Cottage Grove, Oregon after “an extended stay in the Phillippines.” His return to the states let to his arrest by a member of Arkansas State Police’s Criminal Investigation Division, the press released stated. Despite his residence in Oregon, he is described as a “Texas man” by the sheriff’s office.
Izard was arrested in Lane County, Oregon on November 7 and charged with first-degree murder in connection with Gould’s death, the press release states; he is being held in Eugene, Oregon, pending an extradition hearing to return him to the state of Arkansas, KNWA/FOX-24 reported.
After the arrest, Townsend tweeted, “I have experienced more types of emotion that I thought possible during the past 24 hours in reaction to this news. This is the reason why I decided to do
According to Arkansas statutes, the penalty Miller faces if convicted is life imprisonment.