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FBI now helping in search for missing pregnant woman in Benton County

The Benton County Sheriff's Office has announced they will be holding a press conference regarding new information on the disappearance of Ashley Bush.

BENTON COUNTY, ARKANSAS, Ark. — A 33-year-old Benton County woman who is 31 weeks pregnant has now been missing for longer than 48 hours after she was last seen with a woman she met online who she thought would help her get a job.

Ashley Bush, a mother of three—soon to be four— was last seen on Monday, Oct. 31. Her fiancé and investigators say she was last seen with a woman by the name of Lucy she met online while hoping to find a new job working from home.

Benton County investigators have been working around the clock to learn more to find the 33-year-old mother safe. While the sheriff’s office says they have followed several leads from the community and they have made “new developments,” they aren’t saying specifics yet due to the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation.

What is known is that authorities are searching the borders of Oklahoma and Missouri with what they say is a special interest in the southern part of Missouri. 

The FBI now confirms that it is working jointly with the Benton County Sheriff's Office in the search for Bush. Connor Hagan with the Arkansas FBI hopes to release more information soon.

RELATED: Fiancé of missing pregnant woman in Benton Co. pleads for her safe return

The woman last seen with Bush, known by the name of Lucy, was supposed to take Bush to Bentonville for an interview, but when Bush’s fiancé showed up to pick her up at the Handi-Stop in Maysville he said he saw Lucy make eye contact with him and drive away.

As for the company that Bush was allegedly interviewing with, her family reached out to them and they were told by the company that nobody by the name of Lucy works there.

The news of Bush's disappearance was a shock to the employees working at the Handi-Stop, the place where she was last seen.

Although Hand-Mart is a busy stop for travelers, seeing over 300 different customers on any given day, they say this is a town where everyone knows everyone.

“We have people that come up, and they'll be meeting somebody else. But it's usually if they’re selling something to somebody… it’s a good location for people to meet up. But tragically, it has turned into something bad,” said Angela Jordan, the head cashier for the Handi-Stop.

As Benton County investigators search for Bush, her family isn’t giving up hope. 

Bush’s fiancé, Josh Willis, spoke about his plea to bring his fiancée home a day after she was last seen. Today, he says his worry has grown after not hearing from her since Monday afternoon— a full 48 hours.

Willis says he’s now more concerned after finding her cell phone in a ditch, leaving her unable to contact her family. Bush also missed an important ultrasound appointment today. 

Ashley Bush was last seen wearing a black hoodie, jeans and black slip-on shoes. She has red hair and blue eyes, is 5 foot 7 inches tall and weighs 210 pounds.

If you have any information on her whereabouts, Benton County Sheriff’s Office asks you to contact Detective Susan Matthews at (479) 271-1008 or you can directly contact your local police department.  

RELATED: Missing hiker found alive after 4-day search on Buffalo National River

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