ROGERS (KFSM) — A Rogers man is facing a capital murder charge in connection to the death of Ronnie Kultgen, 53, of Garfield, according to a release from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office Thursday (Sept. 10).
Cody Wise, 26, was originally booked into the Benton County Jail on unrelated drug charges, but has since been transferred to the Washington County Detention Center, according to Washington County Prosecutor Matt Durrett.
Kultgen’s body was found Aug. 29 after weeks of searching in Madison County, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. Kultgen was last seen April 15 in Garfield.
Wise’s arrest report states the suspect shot Kultgen in the head and then buried him in Clifty, a small, unincorporated community in Madison County.
“This was a result of a join investigation between the Arkansas State Police, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office,” Durrett said. “It originated out of an investigation in Benton County, there was a missing person from Benton County, and the investigation led them to spot in Madison County where the body was discovered, and that is where the information let us to believe the murder took place.”
An eyewitness to the murder told investigators Wise said he killed Kultgen because the victim stole $2,000 from him, according to the arrest report.
A capital murder conviction carries a penalty of death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.