Newport community gathers to remember Sydney Sutherland one year after her death


NEWPORT, Ark.– August 19, 2020, is a hard day for many in Newport. It’s the day Sydney Sutherland, 25, went for a jog down County Road 41 and never came home.

Authorities in Jackson County say Sutherland was kidnapped, raped, and murdered by a local farmer. One year after her death, close friends and family gathered on the same road where Sutherland was last seen alive, to remember her life and legacy.

“It’s a constant reminder– her memorial– of what happened in this spot and it all takes us back a year ago where this is where we were looking for her,” said Kelly McKinney, family friend.

“She should have been able to go for a run near her home and she wasn’t able to that day a year ago.”A group of about 20 walked together with pink balloons, shirts, and signs, stopping to pray in front of Sutherland’s memorial on the side of the road.

“We won’t stop until the person who took her life faces a judge and jury and justice is served,” said McKinney

The Jackson County Circuit judge has ordered the trial for Quake Lewellyn, the man accused of killing Sutherland, to be moved to Lawrence county.

The judge decided to move the trial after he said based on the extensive publicity and media interest in the case, it would be difficult to assemble a fair jury in Jackson County.

We will keep you posted when a date has been set. 

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