Arkansas girl found dead after mom, great-uncle killed

Posted at 7:12 PM, Apr 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-28 20:15:40-04

MENA, Ark. (AP) -- One of two Arkansas siblings reported missing after their mother's body was discovered in a creek was found dead on Friday, a day after another relative was found dead, and teams are still searching for the other child, investigators said.

The body of 2-year-old Acelynn Wester was found in a heavily wooded area near the town of Cove in western Arkansas, not far from where her mother's body was located on Tuesday, Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer said. The children's great-uncle was found dead Thursday at his home in a nearby town.

The deaths are being investigated as homicides, Sawyer said. He declined to say how the three were killed. The sheriff also didn't mention any possible suspects.

Sawyer said the girl's 9-year-old brother, Reilly Scarbrough, is still missing and that officers from eight agencies are searching for him. The children hadn't been seen since at least Sunday.

Authorities first discovered the body of the children's mother, 43-year-old Bethany Jo Wester. Her uncle, 66-year-old Steven Payne, was found dead Thursday in the western Arkansas town of Hatfield.

"We have been working around the clock," Sawyer said earlier Friday.

Other details about the killings haven't been released.

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