Shooting victim's body found in the trunk of torched car; suspect in custody
The Hempstead County Arkansas Sheriff's Office believes a man in custody in Missouri to be responsible for the shooting death of a Saratoga man, whose remains were found Friday night in the trunk of a torched Honda in northeast Bowie County.
A warrant for Murder in the First Degree for Don Airsman, who was taken into custody by Missouri law enforcement officials in Kennett, Mo., was issued by North Circuit Judge Randal Wright was faxed to the Dunklin County Missouri Sheriff's Office at 10 p.m. Saturday, April 28.
At 9:42 p.m. Friday, April 27, HCSO Deputy Michael Braddock was dispatched to Hempstead County Road in Saratoga, Ark., after the Bowie County, Texas Sheriff's Office found that a vehicle found burned on Texas Farm to Market Road 2320. The vehicle contained registration information belonging to William Jones of 125 Hempstead 1600.
Hempstead County deputies discovered evidence of a disturbance and reported back to the Bowie County officers, who discovered a badly-burned body in the trunk.
Investigators from Hempstead County, Bowie County and the Arkansas State Police were able to identify Don Airsman Jr., stepson of the victim, as a person of interest, and issued a a BOLO for him. At that point, Airsman was believed to be headed toward Missouri, driving a pickup truck that also belonged to Jones.
Airsman was detained by Kennett law enforcement and investigators flew to Missouri via helicopter to interview Airsman. While investigators were in Missouri, prosecutors in Hempstead County were able to develop a probable cause affidavit, ergo the first degree murder warrant.
In Missouri, Arkansas investigators attempted to interview Airsman, but he refused to speak with them without an attorney president.
When the Dunklin County Sheriff's Office received the warrant, however, a hold for Murder in the First Degree has been placed on Airsman for extradition back to Hempstead County.