Authorities have found the remains of 25-year-old Arkansas resident Sydney Sutherland after she went missing in August of 2020. Sutherland was reported missing by her boyfriend when she failed to return from a jog near their home. Her remains were found buried in a rice field near her home.
A police investigation led to the arrest of 28-year-old Quake Llewellyn, a farmer who worked in the area and attended high school with Sutherland. According to a mental fitness check ordered by the court, he hit Sutherland with his truck accidentally while she was out jogging. “I knew I didn’t kill her on purpose,” Llewellyn allegedly told the psychologist.
Llewellyn described the events of that day, noting he didn’t mean to kill Sutherland. The farmer stated he was checking on his wells and rice fields when he struck the woman with his truck. “At this point, I was scared and afraid I was gonna be in trouble for running her over.”
According to the psychologist’s report, Llewellyn, who thought that Sutherland was dead at this point, threw the woman in the back of his truck and drove her out to a nearby rice field. He went on to state that he removed the victim’s clothes and “messed with her” before burying her in a hastily-dug hole. Investigators are unsure of whether she was dead at this point.
Authorities connected Llewellyn to the case when cell phone records indicated his phone was near hers on the day she went missing. Llewellyn allegedly joined a Facebook group dedicated to finding her, posing as a member of the search party.
The defendant faces serious charges, ranging from kidnapping to capital murder. Due to the lack of information about the exact nature of Sutherland’s death and final moments, Llewellyn has also been charged with abuse of a corpse.
In an attempt to avoid becoming a suspect, Llewellyn came forward to police and told them he thought he was the last person to see Sutherland alive. He failed to disclose that he was the one who killed her, however.
The mental health evaluation was requested by the defense, with attorneys for Llewellyn suggesting he may not be mentally fit to understand the nature of the case against him. However, according to court records, he has been found mentally sound enough to stand trial for his charges.
Llewellyn has pleaded not guilty on all of the charges.