According to The Associated Press, a parolee accused of abducting and killing a top-selling Arkansas real estate agent Beverly Carter, 49, had contacted her to set up an appointment to view a vacant house, authorities said Tuesday (September 30), hours after discovering the woman's body in a shallow grave at a concrete company.
Police found Beverly Carter's body early Tuesday, five days after she went to show the house in a rural area near Little Rock and never returned. Authorities arrested Arron Michael Lewis, 33, on Monday (September 29) on suspicion of kidnapping, and preliminary charges of capital murder and robbery were added after Carter's body was found buried at a business where Lewis previously worked.
Lewis, who was on parole for theft convictions, pleaded not guilty to the preliminary charges and remained in the Pulaski County jail Tuesday without bond. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had an attorney, though Lewis told reporters Tuesday while he was being taken to be questioned by authorities that he did not kill Carter.
When asked why Carter was targeted, Lewis responded: "Because she was just a woman that worked alone--a rich broker."
Pulaski County Sheriff's Capt. Simon Haynes wouldn't say how the 49-year-old Carter was killed or why, but described her as "a target of opportunity" for Lewis. He said Lewis scheduled the appointment to see the home in Scott, about 15 miles east of Little Rock, but wouldn't say how Lewis learned that Carter was a real estate agent.
COMMENT: Friends, family members and fellow real estate agents joined the search for Carter throughout the weekend. On Tuesday, many of them attended a news conference, wearing red shirts to honor the mother and grandmother.
"If you had a sweet scale, it was Beverly, and then there was sugar, and then there was other sweeteners. That's how sweet she was," said David Goldstein, a real estate broker who worked with Carter for more than 10 years. "Now, she was pretty feisty too. In her professional life, if you were being protected by her as a Realtor, if you were her client, that sweet had some teeth."
Friends, family members and fellow real estate agents joined the search for Carter throughout the weekend. On Tuesday, many of them attended a news conference, wearing red shirts to honor the mother and grandmother.