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Man accused in 2005 murder arrested in Russellville kidnapping attempts

Russellville police arrested 39-year-old Gary Dunn on kidnapping charges following two separate incidents in the city Tuesday night. (Photo courtesy: Pope County jail)

Russellville police arrested 39-year-old Gary Dunn for criminal attempt of kidnapping following two separate incidents in the city this week.

Dunn was tried twice in the murder of Arkansas Tech student and beauty queen Nona Dirksmeyer, who was found choked and beaten in her apartment in December 2005, but both proceedings ended in hung juries.

According to police, he is believed to be the suspect in possible kidnapping attempts that occurred Tuesday at approximately 7:19 p.m. and 7:38 p.m.


The first incident occurred in the parking lot for Baswell Hall at Arkansas Tech University, where a female said she was approached by a suspect and asked to step out of the vehicle. The female called 911 and the suspect left.

The second incident occurred in the parking lot of First Baptist Church, located on S. Denver Avenue. A 40-year-old woman said a suspect approached her in the parking lot and attempted to force her into a vehicle. The victim told police she was able to break free from the suspect, who fled the scene in the vehicle.

Police said the suspect and vehicle description in both incidents were similar, and the information was sent to surrounding agencies.

At approximately 9:38 p.m., Dardanelle police stopped a vehicle that matched the one involved in the Russellville cases, and the suspect was identified as Dunn.

Dunn was taken into custody and transported to the Pope County Detention Center.

The investigation is ongoing.

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