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Missing Benton County woman, child found dead in southwest Missouri

BENTON COUNTY, Arkansas (KNWA/KFTA) — Officials in Arkansas said Thursday that a missing Benton County pregnant woman and her baby have been found dead in Missouri.

Two people have been arrested in connection with the case, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed.

Benton County Sheriff Sean Holloway said the victim, identified as 33-year-old Ashley Bush, was first reported missing on Monday.

Bush’s fiancé, Josh Willis, previously said Bush was last seen in Maysville, Arkansas, with a woman named “Lucy.”

Willis said Bush and he initially met Lucy last Friday at the library where Bush was applying for a job. Willis said he dropped Bush off at a gas station Monday morning to give Lucy a ride to Bush’s second interview. Around the time she was supposed to return later in the afternoon, Willis said he saw Lucy and Bush drive past the gas station.

He tried to follow the car but ultimately couldn’t make it, he said.

At a news conference Thursday, Sheriff Holloway said Bush’s body was found in McDonald County, Missouri, that day. The sheriff said Bush’s baby was also found in a separate location in McDonald County on Wednesday.

Ashley Bush died of an apparent gunshot wound, according to Benton County District Attorney Nathan Smith.

“It’s just a reminder that there’s evil in the world, people do evil things, and it’s unthinkable that someone would prey on a pregnant woman at her most vulnerable,” Smith said.

According to the sheriff, the two people arrested are Amber Waterman and Jamie Waterman. Both were being held in the McDonald County Jail and face federal kidnapping charges, although additional charges may be filed later, Smith said.

The Watermans were husband and wife, according to Smith, who also said it was unclear how Ashley Bush and Amber Waterman first met.

The investigation continues.


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