• Abnormal Arkansas

What Sydney Taught Me

On August 19, 2020, the disappearance of Sydney Sutherland rocked the region of northeast Arkansas. On this day, Sydney Claire Sutherland was out for a jog around 2 p.m. in the Grubbs/Newport area. Only a few days later, Sydney's body would be discovered.

Law enforcement would soon find out that Sydney's killer knew her. Quake Lewellyn, another resident of the Newport area, saw Sydney running that day. He decided to his truck around, abduct and sexually assault Sydney. The medical examiner just announced that Sydney had passed away due to multiple blunt force injuries. The scariest part? This man was a part of the search group who looked for her after her disappearance. A daughter, a friend, and an innocent woman's life was taken that day.

Sydney's murder affected me. It wasn't because her abduction happened only an hour away from my hometown but because what happened to Sydney could have happened to any innocent woman, including myself.

The violence is getting way out of hand. It is horrible to think that I could go for a walk down a road near my home and something could happen to me. This needs to stop.

I believe there needs to be harsher punishments for those who choose to take another human's life. There needs to be more discussion, beginning at a young age, of senseless violence and the consequences you will face for your actions. I believe that women and men need to be shown, from a younger age, ways they can protect themselves from violence. I believe at this point in time that you can never be too prepared. My suggestion: Leave your home prepared for anything.

Let's get rid of the statistics. Let's get rid of the names of the perpetrators. Let's remember them - the victims.

To Sydney - thank you for showing me that I should live each day as if it is my last here on Earth. You have made an impact on the lives of people who never knew you personally, including myself.

Let's remember Sydney and the light that she brought to the lives of many people. May you rest in peace.


Photo credit: The Sun, A News UK Company

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