HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE, AR – Garland County sheriff's detectives say someone murdered Hot Springs Village police dispatcher Dawna Natzke. And they say they have an unnamed person of interest.
According to Lt. James Martin of the Garland County Sheriff’s Department, information obtained from the Arkansas State Crime Lab on the cause of death leads them to now treat the case as a homicide.
Martin says the cause of death will not be released in order to protect the integrity of the investigation, nor will the name of their person of interest.
Patty Hathaway, a 13-year friend of Natzke, tells FOX16 News Thursday she is both scared and relieved with the latest developments.
"I want the person who did it to get caught," Hathaway says. "It just scares me knowing they are still out there."
Hathaway told the Associated Press that she texted Natzke the morning after the Dec. 21 Christmas party that Natzke left abruptly.
Hathaway said she told her friend that she wasn't pleased with how Natzke's boyfriend "pushed" her out the door.
Nearly two hours later, Hathaway received a text from Natzke's phone, saying: "He didn't push me i fell and he caught me. I had taken a pain pill and was tour up"
Hathaway said she doesn't believe that message came from Natzke.
"I know she knows how to spell," she said in a telephone interview.
Dawna Natzke, a mother of three and police dispatcher, went missing
after leaving a Christmas party on December 21. Her remains were found on December 31