Pregnant Arkansas woman, baby found dead in southwest Missouri

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BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Officials in Arkansas said Thursday that a missing pregnant woman from Benton County, as well as her baby, were found dead in Missouri.

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

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

Bush’s fiancé, Josh Willis, had previously said Bush was last seen in Maysville, Arkansas, with a woman who went by the name “Lucy.”

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

He tried to follow the car but ultimately could not keep up, he said.

At a press conference on 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.

According to Benton County prosecutor Nathan Smith, Ashley Bush died from an apparent gunshot wound.

“This is just a reminder that there is evil in the world, people do evil things and that someone would prey upon a pregnant woman at her most vulnerable state is unimaginable,” Smith said.

The two people arrested in the case, according to the sheriff,k are Amber Waterman and Jamie Waterman. Both were being held in the McDonald County Jail and are facing federal charges of kidnapping, though more charges could be added 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 is ongoing.

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