Missing Arkansas children found dead after mom, uncle killed


MENA, AR (WCMH) – Sheriff’s deputies in Arkansas have come to a tragic end in a search for two missing children.

The search for 9-year-old Reilly James Scarbrough and his 2-year-old sister Acelynn Wester began on Tuesday after the body of their mother, Bethany Jo Wester, was found in a creek outside of Cove, Arkansas. Two days later, Steven Payne, the children’s uncle, was found dead in a home in Hatfield, Arkansas.

The tragedy continued on Friday when officers found the body of Acelynn was found in the woods near Cove. On Saturday, officers found Reilly’s body in a heavily wooded area outside of Hatfield.

Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer told KARK that the children’s mother’s boyfriend helped authorities locate Reilly’s body.

“Reilly Scarbrough was located with the assurance of Brian Bliss Travis,” Sawyer said. “I anticipate that capital murder charges will be filed against Brian Travis on the coming days, pending a review.”

Travis is currently being held in the Polk County jail on unrelated charges.

Sawyer called for the community to come together in the face of this horrific tragedy.

“I think now is an important time for us to stand together, support this family, support this community, support each other,” he said. “It’s been a rough week and we pray for the families.”

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