A suspected child rapist who disappeared after reportedly jumping from a bridge into the Red River has been found. Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested Jody Cook Tuesday at a home in Mena, AR.
Cook had been missing since June. That's when investigators with the Miller County Sheriff's Office received word that the man, who was wanted in connection with the rape of a 13 year old girl, had jumped 100 feet from a bridge into the river and disappeared. Deputies spent days searching the water but did not find Cook's body.
"I didn't believe he jumped," said Chief Deputy Tommy Hollins. "We did tests where we dropped logs that weighed about the same as him, and guys who were fishing in the water nearby would've heard him if he jumped."
Hollins says investigators suspected the disappearance was actually a hoax and that Cook eventually would make his way to relatives, where he'd try to hide. He said his office notified the Polk County Sheriff's Office to keep a close watch on the home of Cook's wife's family.
"We got a call (Tuesday) that the electricity had been turned on in this house that's close to where (the wife's) daddy lived," Hollins said. "They went by and that's where they found him."
Cook and his wife were both arrested, and Tuesday night, they were brought back to Miller County. Both face a list of charges.
Hollins said he expects to make more arrests in this case.
Story by Katrina Webber