Man wanted in connection to Dumas murder, family of victim speaks out

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DUMAS, Ark. — State police are actively searching for a man they say abducted and then killed a woman. Authorities believe Laverne Blackmon killed Viola Davis of Dumas.

“It disturbs my heart.It breaks my heart,” said Michael Thomas, Viola Davis’ son in-law.

Thomas is heartbroken.

“Couldn’t imagine what happened to her, couldn’t imagine. It hurt my heart,” said Thomas.

On Monday, someone found Davis’ body along Kirtley Road northeast of Dumas. State police started an investigation.

“It tore me up and first thing this morning, she was loved by the community. I promise to God she was loved by the whole community,” said Thomas.

State police say 57-year-old Lavern Blackmon kidnapped her and then killed her. Thomas says Davis was a sweet person.

57-year-old Lavern Blackmon

“Great woman. I’ve learned to love her way more than anything in the world. The first mother in law I ever had. Sweet lady,” said Thomas.

The family wants justice and can’t understand why someone would hurt her.

“I never knew it would be this situation, never knew it’s like a movie,” said Thomas.

Her body has been taken to the state crime lab to determine what the cause of death is. State police are leading the investigation.

Blackmon is wanted for Kidnapping and Capital Murder.

If you know or see Blackmon you are asked to call police.

UPDATE:

DESHA COUNTY, Ark. — Arkansas State Police are looking for Lavern Blackmon, 57, of Conway who is wanted in connection with the abduction and murder of a Desha County woman.

Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division were requested yesterday (Monday, June 29th) to lead the investigation after local law enforcement authorities were notified of a body being discovered along Kirtley Road northeast of Dumas.  The body was later identified as Viola Davis, 56, of Mitchellville (Desha County).

Viola Davis, 56

Davis’ body is being examined at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to determine a manner and cause of death.

State police special agents have obtained arrest warrants for Blackmon, charging him with kidnapping and capital murder.

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Blackmon is asked to contact the nearest Arkansas State Police office.

ORIGINAL STORY:

DESHA COUNTY, Ark.- A Desha County investigator confirmed Arkansas State Police and the sheriff’s office is investigating the death of a woman.

According to Ronnie Bearden, a criminal investigator with the Desha County Sheriff’s Office, Viola Davis, 56, was killed.

Bearden says someone found her body on a rural county road north of Dumas Monday morning between 5:30 a.m. and 7 a.m.

We have reached out to Arkansas State Police for more information.

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