Update: Murdered Benton woman was stabbed, suffered skull fracture, says husband’s arrest report

Local News

Update (July 16):
BENTON, Ark. – New details have been revealed in the weekend murder of a local woman.

The arrest affidavit for suspect Nicholas Fernow, 28, was released Tuesday by the Saline County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

It states that the body of Minnie Smith-Fernow, also 28, was found in the master bedroom of the couple’s Grayson Dr. home early Saturday morning.

“She had been stabbed several times with a red-handled kitchen knife that was found just under the edge of the bed,” and also suffered “a large open skull fracture,” the report said.

The affidavit states that shortly after 2 a.m. on July 13, the father of Nicholas Fernow called the Benton Police Department to report that his son had called him and said his wife was dead.

When police arrived at the Fernow’s home, they found Nicholas Fernow in the living room. He was described by police as “wearing blood-covered clothing and appeared to be intoxicated.”

Officers also found bloody handprints going down the hall and into the master bedroom, the report shows.

An anniversary card from Minnie to Nicholas was found on the coffee table that “professed Minnie’s love for Nicholas in spite of all their fighting,” the affidavit said.

Nicholas Fernow was further described as having a “strong smell of intoxicants and unsteady gait.” He reportedly refused to talk to officers or to “provide any information of any kind” but was overheard by one officer saying to himself “Oh no, no, no. I did something bad now!”

Fernow remains behind bars at the Saline County Jail on a murder charge with a $500,000 bond, according to the prosecuting attorney’s office.

Original story (July 13):
BENTON, Ark. – A woman is dead and her husband under arrest after an early morning incident at their home.

The victim has been identified by the Benton Police Department (BNPD) as Minnie Fernow, 28.

Her husband Nicholas Fernow, also 28, is jailed in the homicide on a charge of first degree murder.

Police say the woman died of “traumatic injuries.”

Anyone with information about the death of Minnie Fernow is urged to call the BNPD at 501-778-1171 or 501-315-TIPS.

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