Arrest made in Traskwood deaths, 2 bodies identified

(KATV) Benton - Acting on a tip, Benton Police found two bodies buried in a backyard in Traskwood Wednesday, Thursday, they make a murder arrest.

One of the men discovered on the property is Joe Lee Richards Jr.; he's been missing for nearly a year.

Richards Jr.'s family knew foul play was involved when he left his keys, wallet, car and cell phone home last October. Although they hoped for the best they planned for the worst Thursday, the family of another man is hearing the news that their loved one has also been found in an unmarked grave.

(The other victim's name will be released after family is notified, he has not been listed as a missing person with police)

Two men who may have never known each other have at least one thing in common, they were both buried on this property in Traskwood, evidence reveals their deaths are not connected.

The homeowner, 50-year old Marissa Wright has been charged with capital murder in Richards' death, police say the two dated.

More arrests are possible. Lt. Kevin Russell with the Benton Police Department says, "Our search warrant was finished Wednesday and we have concluded our investigation at the residents at this time."

Two families will have closure because of a tip to police that the home was a crime scene in connection with Joe Lee Richards Jr.'s disappearance, but police never expected to find two bodies.

Sheriff Bruce Pennington with the Saline County Sheriff's Office says, "This is the first time we've had something this I'd say unique or of this magnitude."

When Richards was listed as a missing man in Benton, friend of the family Chief Kirk Lane promised them he'd solve the case. Thursday, nearly a year to the date, he came through with the help of Benton police, FBI, the Saline County Sheriff's office, Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, State Police and the State Crime Lab.

Chief Kirk Lane with the Benton Police Department concludes, "Working with the family is always difficult in these kinds of occasions and it's a great achievement for the Benton Police Department to bring this information to the Richards family, something we were very dedicated to."

How the men died is pending.

Benton police are investigating Richards death while the sheriff's department is handling the other victim's death investigation.

At this time Marissa Wright hasn't been charged with the unidentified man's death. She will be in court Friday morning for a bond hearing.

Stay with Channel Seven and for the latest on this story.

This is still an on-going investigation, but anyone with other information is strongly encouraged to contact either the Saline County Sheriff's Office at 303-5608, or the Benton Police Department at 778-1171 or 315-TIPS.

A Channel Seven crew spoke to Joe Lee Richards Jr.'s brother Monday when a search warrant was issued in conjunction with his missing brother and then again on Wednesday when the bodies were discovered. To see the stories, click on the link under the picture.