November 28, 2020

FBI seeks help finding Montana teacher’s body

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FILE - This undated photo provided by the Sidney, Mt., Police Dept. shows Sidney High School math teacher Sherry Arnold, 43, who has been missing since Saturday, Jan. 7. New details about the mysterious disappearance and reported death of a small-town Montana math teacher emerged Sunday, as authorities asked property owners in parts of North Dakota and Montana to look for signs of her buried body and released the names of two men being held in the case. (AP Photo/Sidney Montana Police Dept., File)

Authorities investigating the reported death of a Montana school teacher asked land owners in parts of Montana and North Dakota to check vacant farmsteads for signs of disturbed soil or matted grass, saying her body might be buried at such a site.

As new details about 43-year-old Sherry Arnold’s mysterious disappearance emerged Sunday, law officers released the names of two men being held in the case.

Lester Vann Waters Jr., 47, and Michael Keith Spell, 22, both of Parachute, Colo., were in the Williams County Correctional Center in Williston, N.D., awaiting extradition to Montana, authorities said.

The FBI issued a statement late Sunday saying the body of the Sidney, Mont., woman might be buried in a “shelter belt,” or a line of trees that protects soil from the wind.

The agency asked that property owners in three North Dakota counties — Williams, McKenzie and Mountrail — and in extreme northeastern Montana check vacant farmsteads for signs of disturbed soil or matted grass. Landowners who discover something unusual should not disturb the area, but call authorities, the FBI said.

“Based on investigative evidence gathered over the last few days, it is believed that Ms. Arnold may be deceased,” FBI spokeswoman Debbie Bertram said in a statement. “Her body has not been recovered.”

 

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