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Police: Body of man missing out of Springdale found in Missouri, 2 men arrested

On Saturday, Nov. 27, just before 12 p.m. a group of hunters discovered a body, later identified as Richard Phillips, just north of Seligman, Missouri.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the disappearance of a man from a Springdale apartment, according to Lt. Jeff Taylor with the Springdale Police Department (SPD).

With two suspects in custody, the search continued for 39-year-old Richard Phillips.

Phillips was last seen at the Peaks Apartments on Cooper Drive Tuesday, Nov. 23. An investigation into his disappearance started after a witness told police Phillips was abducted from the apartment by a group of men. Officers spotted a trail of blood in the parking lot. 

On Saturday, Nov. 27, just before 12 p.m. a group of hunters discovered a body, later identified as Phillips, just north of Seligman, Missouri. Law enforcement determined that he died in Springdale. His body is being sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab to determine his cause of death. 

Lt. Taylor reports that following an extensive investigation, Reginald Baker of Seligman, Missouri, and Daniel Blanks of Fort Smith, Arkansas, were named suspects in the case. 

Credit: Tulsa County Sheriff's Office
Reginald Baker (L), Daniel Blanks (R)

Investigators learned the pair were staying in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and requested authorities in the area help bring the men into custody. Both men were arrested by the Tulsa Police Department without incident and will be transported back to Washington County.

According to an arrest affidavit, an eyewitness told investigators that the two men entered Phillips' apartment and began beating him. They were accusing Phillips of raping a 6-year-old girl.

The affidavit reports that the girl, now older but still a minor, was at a birthday party in late October with Baker, Blanks and Phillips. She allegedly told the suspects that Phillips sexually abused her when she was 6-years-old, which made Baker angry. 

According to the affidavit, Baker grabbed a knife from the kitchen "with the purpose to hurt" Phillips. He calmed down before anyone was hurt. 

Investigators also discovered that Baker is the ex-boyfriend of Phillips' wife and was "well acquainted" with the minor who alleged Phillips raped her. 

Phillips' body was found badly beaten, shot and mutilated, according to the affidavit. 

Both Baker and Blanks are facing capital murder, kidnapping and burglary charges.

Springdale Police Department says this is an ongoing investigation and asks anyone with information to call the SPD at (479)-751-4542 or the Criminal Investigation Division at (479)- 750-8319.   

This is a developing story, please check back for updates. 

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