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

Ashley Bush was last seen in a vehicle with another woman in Maysville around 3 p.m. on Oct. 31. The woman allegedly drove Bush to a job interview in Bentonville.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Deputies with the Benton County Sheriff's Office are searching for a woman who is 31 weeks pregnant and was last seen on her way to Bentonville.

According to the Benton County Sheriff's Office (BCSO), 33-year-old Ashley Bush (Boone) was last seen in the passenger seat of an older model tan pickup truck on the afternoon of Oct. 31, at the intersection of Hwy. 72 and Hwy. 43 in Maysville. 

Deputies say the driver was a white woman in her 40s with shoulder-length brown hair who said her name was "Lucy."

Bush met "Lucy" online when she was looking for a job working from home. "Lucy" picked her up that morning at the Handi-Mart in Maysville to allegedly take her to a job interview in Bentonville, according to the BCSO.

Around 3 p.m. that day, Bush texted her ride to say she was in Gravette on her way to Handi-Mart so he could pick her up. The women arrived at the intersection near Handi-Mart and turned north onto Hwy. 43 continuing north. Deputies say Bush has not been seen or heard from since.

Bush is 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs 210 pounds, and has red hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a black hoodie, blue jeans and black slip-on shoes. She is 31 weeks pregnant. 

5NEWS spoke with Josh Willis, the fiancé of Bush, who says the mother of three, soon to be four, had complications in her pregnancy.

"With Ashley being pregnant, she has been having complications with this pregnancy and the doctor took her off work," he said.

Willis says that's when Bush started looking for a work-from-home job in a Facebook group for moms.

According to Willis, Bush met "Lucy" in the Facebook group who said she had a job for her and requested they have a first interview at the Gravette library. On Friday, Oct. 28, Bush and Willis met with "Lucy" at the library. During that meeting, "Lucy" mentioned she had baby supplies she could give the family.

He says he felt uneasy about the situation. 

"She handed Ashley a bunch of paperwork, that they would email her and told her to wait for the boss to contact her for another interview."

The next steps, according to Willis, were for Bush to travel with "Lucy" to Bentonville for an interview with the boss. He says he dropped his fiance off Monday morning and then went to pick her up at around 3 p.m. at the Handi-Mart in Maysville. 

The last time Willis says he heard from his fiancé was when she sent a text saying she was in Gravette and he could come to pick her up.

"All I saw was her and the lady she rode with both pass me, neither one stopped, the driver looked at me and kept going," he said.

Willis says he tried following the truck but lost it heading north on Hwy. 43. He and his family quickly started searching for Bush.

"We tried all night long texting her, calling her, trying to get her to answer," he said.

The family started calling to learn more about "Lucy" and the company she allegedly worked for.

"Come to find out today, the company was supposed to work for doesn't even know the lady she is with, they are based out of New Jersey."

The company told him there is no "Lucy" who works for the company.

On Oct. 31, the family was able to ping and locate Bush's phone. Willis says it was found in a ditch about a half mile away from the location he last saw her in Maysville.

Now the family is hoping to get answers.

"To whoever has her, please let her go. We don't have much, all we have is our family, it's all we got, we just want her home."

As for what happened Monday night, Willis and his family are holding out hope but are concerned about what the intentions are of "Lucy."

"It's my opinion... I think she offered Ashely money for the baby and Ashley turned her down," Willis said. "If you see her please contact your local PD immediately to get her home safely for her kids to be able to hold her again."

Deputies say that while they have been searching through the night for Bush and received numerous leads from the community, they are "hopeful" after new developments. The sheriff's office said they cannot share those developments due to the sensitivity of the case.

Authorities are asking anyone who may have been in the area of the Handi-Mart or the Gravette library and might have seen Bush with the woman to contact Detective Susan Matthews. Anyone who lives near those areas has also been asked to pass along any doorbell camera footage.

If you have any information on her whereabouts, you're asked to call Detective Matthews at 479-271-1008 extension 3639.

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