|Updated: 6/11/2010 8:24 am
||Published: 6/10/2010 5:42 pm
Agents with the U.S. Marshals Service in Washington reported Thursday that they had arrested a suspect in the beating death of an elderly Arkansas woman, authorities said.
Supervisory Deputy Marshal Rick Ploof said Rene Patrick Bourassa Jr. was arrested in Bremerton, on the Kitsap Peninsula west of Seattle, after marshals received a tip that Bourassa had been seen there.
Bourassa was wanted in the death of 80-year-old Lillian Wilson, whose body was found Sunday between two pews in a Methodist church in the eastern Arkansas community of Hamlin.
Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler said Bourassa had not yet been charged in connection with Wilson's death. He said he didn't know if Bourassa had a lawyer.
Investigators from Arkansas will fly to Seattle on Friday to question Bourassa, Sadler said.
Ploof said agents had interviewed a witness who had reported seeing Bourassa, and as they were driving away, they saw Bourassa driving the victim's car in the opposite direction. They turned around, pulled him over and made the arrest.
Ploof says Bourassa, 34, used to live in the Bremerton area.
Authorities say the body of 80-year-old Lillian Wilson was found Sunday in the Central Methodist Church in the community of Hamlin near Wynne in eastern Arkansas. State police said Wednesday her car had been spotted in Missouri and Washington state.
Arkansas police said Bourassa was one of two men pictured in images obtained from business video-surveillance cameras that were widely distributed by police. The announcement said the other man shown in the pictures had been eliminated as a suspect.
The man eliminated as a suspect, according to police, was a man 50 to 60 years old, while the image of a younger man shown with Wilson's car at gas pumps turned out to be Bourassa.
This information follows the reported distributed earlier by the Arkansas State Police at 4 p.m. that a Seattle, Washington homicide task force squad took Rene' Patrick Bourassa, Jr, 34, into custody. They said Bourassa was driving the Mercury Marquis belonging to Lillian Wilson.