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by George Jared
MELBOURNE, Ark. – Could investigators possibly find answers about the killing of Rebekah Gould after all these years? New information suggests they’re trying.
The Arkansas State Police have conducted numerous interviews with witnesses in the last several weeks in connection with the unsolved murder of college student Rebekah Gould, two sources with knowledge of the situation said. Several of the witnesses are connected to the only publicly named suspect in the case, Gould’s former boyfriend Casey McCullough.
Author/journalist George Jared, who wrote about the 22-year-old’s disappearance in his books Witches in West Memphis … and another false confession and The Creek Side Bones … reality is more horrifying than fiction, called ASP lead detective Mark Hollingsworth this week to inquire about these new potential leads, but Hollingsworth didn’t return those calls. Jared was present on Sept. 27, 2004, when Gould’s body was found off an embankment on Arkansas 9, a rural thoroughfare that connects Melbourne to Mountain View in the Ozark hills.
There has been renewed interest in the 22-year old’s unsolved murder after it was recently featured on the Dr. Oz show. It’s the subject of the podcast series Hell and Gone.
The morning she disappeared, the college student dropped a friend off at work around 8 a.m. The friend was Casey McCullough. She stopped at a convenience store to buy a few things and then returned to his house in Guion, just outside of Melbourne to collect her possessions.
Rebekah was supposed to pickup her sister, Danielle, and the duo was slated to return to northwest Arkansas that afternoon where Rebekah attended college.
She never arrived.
The next day, police decided to inspect McCullough’s home. An investigator with the Izard County Sheriff’s Department, Charlie Melton, contacted McCullough, who didn’t go home after work that night. He stayed the night at a friend’s house.
I’ve been told, however, McCullough returned to his home the next morning to grab a fresh set of clothes for work. He noticed laundry folded on his bed, but strangely he didn’t notice blood strewn in the house. He left, unaware anything was amiss, or so he claims. It’s strange because her car and possessions were still there.
Later in the day, the young man and the officer returned to his home. Rebekah’s keys, car, purse, and other possessions were there, but she was not.
A breakfast biscuit was still sitting in the microwave. She bought it the day before at the store. Blood soaked sheets were discovered in the washing machine. A mattress had been flipped. The other side was covered in blood.
One week later, her body was discovered. In The Creek Side Bones Jared gives a description of what he saw.
I walked down a steep hill. Searchers cordoned an area. It was then that I saw Rebekah Gould. It shocked me. It was a moment that pierced my heart into eternity. It’s a moment that changed me forever. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
I was in a state of shock. It was the first time I’d seen a murder victim. She laid there in a shirt and panties. Her blonde hair was in a clump. Others noticed her belly-button ring. I did not. I was too horrified to take notes. I returned to the Izard County Sheriff’s Department. Larry was there.
He asked me if they’d found a body. I told him he needed to talk with the sheriff. He put his hand on my shoulders and asked a second time if they’d found her. Sincerity beamed in the beleaguered father’s eyes.
I told him it was true. He was now the father of a murdered woman.
Tears flowed. He bolted into the building, seeking answers. I talked with him one more time that day. He said his focus would be to find her killer or killers. I hoped his anguish would be short-lived, and culprits would be caught.
I returned to the scene later in the day. She was covered with a tarp or other type of covering. The smell at that time was unforgettable. In my first book, I omitted a description of what I saw the first time. I didn’t want the family to read it. I didn’t know how much they knew about it.
McCullough was interviewed by police more than once, but he was ultimately cleared in the murder. At the time he freely talked about the case with Jared, but in recent years he has steadfastly refused to return Jared’s phone calls and messages. The veteran journalist said it’s strange that he refuses to talk to anyone about the case.
Gould was killed from a single blow to the head and the murder weapon was likely a loose piano leg inside McCullough’s house, according to the autopsy report. There were no signs that she had been sexually assaulted, but the report noted that the advanced decomposition of her body made it hard to determine if she’d been raped. Jared thinks she wasn’t because she still had a shirt and panties on when she was found. A rapist would not have put her clothes back on her.
McCullough reportedly lives in the same house where Gould was murdered. Dr. Larry Gould has been critical of the investigation into his daughter’s death and thinks police should release more information about what happened to his daughter.
For years, police honed in on a Mountain View man and interviewed him numerous times. The man, first name is Chris, vehemently denied any involvement when interviewed in the pod cast series Hell and Gone.
Thursday night, Nov. 1, at Facebook.com/NEAReport, George Jared will join Stan Morris to discuss the new information and leads in the case. Like and follow us on Facebook to get the alert when we go live.