A body that was found in Arkansas County Monday has been identified as a Pine Bluff man who was reported missing by his family on Nov. 28, authorities announced on Thursday. Arkansas State Police said that Pine Bluff Police Detective Mike Sweeney identified the remains as those of Curtis Urquhart, 57.
State police had contacted Pine Bluff police to find out about any missing persons from Pine Bluff, and Sweeney confirmed that he had a missing person who matched the description. Urquhart was last seen Nov. 27 leaving the office of a notary on West Sixth Avenue with Kirkland Warren, 22, state police Special Agent Billy McCradic said in a probable cause affidavit that was presented in district court Wednesday when Warren made his first court appearance.
McCradic reported that he and Special Agent Huston Talley interviewed Warren at the Pine Bluff Police Department Tuesday, and Warren told them that after he and Urquhart left the office and were riding around when Urquhart kept asking him for money.
Investigators said Warren told them he said he was not going to give Urquhart any more money. Warren said he became fearful for his life as he was driving and reached under his seat for a .22-caliber handgun, then shot Urquhart in the head. He said he then drove around until he found a gravel road near Stuttgart and dumped the body in the ditch.
According to the affidavit, state police investigators were called to the scene after an Arkansas County deputy, Ronnie Carr, had been dispatched to Gingrich Road at about 2:41 p.m. Monday. When Carr arrived, he was met by three males in a red pickup who told Carr that they had stopped their vehicle in the road to use the bathroom, and as the driver of the truck got out, he saw a male laying on his back in the north ditch.
McCradic reported that when he got to the scene at about 3:30 p.m., he saw the victim, who appeared to have been shot in the head. In addition, McCradic reported that the victim's left hand appeared to have been eaten by animals. The body was sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.
A $250,000 bond was set for Warren Wednesday on probable cause of first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse.
Online archives at the Commercial showed that Urquhart was arrested earlier this year on second-degree forgery and theft of property charges and in 2015 on charges of possession of a controlled substance with purpose to deliver. That charge stemmed from a police investigation that started when postal inspectors intercepted a package that had been mailed from California to an address in Pine Bluff.
The package contained 1.2 pounds of marijuana and a postal inspector posing as a mailman delivered the package, which was signed for by Urquhart. When he was questioned, he denied any involvement.