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  1. #1
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    AR - Dana Stidham, 18, murdered in Bella Vista, 1989

    Dana Stidham was last seen at a grocery store in Bella Vista, AR, (A) in the afternoon of July 25, 1989 and was reported missing that evening.

    The next morning, a Bella Vista police officer noticed a battered pick-up truck and a Dodge Omni parked less than a mile north of the store along HWY 71 (now HWY 540) at its intersection with Wellington RD (B). The officer saw a man kneeling next to the Omni, whose rear left tire was flat. Later that morning, the Omni was identified as Dana's, but the pickup truck and man were gone. There was no blood or evidence of violence at the scene, and the keys to the Omni were in the ignition.

    The truck was identified as belonging to a Navy sailor stationed in Florida.

    Later, some items of Dana's clothing (laundry) were found along Ealing Circle (C).

    On August 5th, items from Dana's purse were found scattered near the roadside along Hanover and Chaucer DRs. (D, E) A dog in the area came home with Dana's purse in his mouth.

    Dana's partial skeletal remains were found somewhere off Newburn RD (F) on Sep 16 by a squirrel hunter. Her clothing and rings were buried nearby. A nick on her shoulder bone indicated she may have been stabbed in the neck, but her sternum was missing, making it impossible to determine for sure.

    According to an article written 10 years after her death, LE had identified a strong suspect, a rejected suitor of Dana's, who had been seen in the area on the day Dana disappeared, who joined the Navy shortly thereafter, and who had since been convicted of stealing her grave stone. This suspect may be MM. http://www.topix.com/forum/city/grav...UAPNGNC3501TT7

    In 2008, evidence was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for DNA testing. As of July, 2009, the results of those tests are unknown and no one has been arrested.

    Much more at link http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...&GRid=21510385

    Map of key locations http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...,0.075703&z=14

  2. #2
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    Darn what a sad story, I bet the suspect still has that ring that belonged to Dana. I sure wish they could arrest him.

  3. #3
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    I hope someone from that area sees this. I wonder if MM is still around

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMutt View Post
    I hope someone from that area sees this. I wonder if MM is still around
    I've seen reports that he's in Broken Arrow, OK, (just outside of Tulsa) and that he's in Pineville, MO (just north of Bella Vista). Don't know how recent or accurate those reports are. LE says he carried a picture of Dana around in his wallet as late as 1998.

  5. #5
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    YEah a guy that stole her grave stone probaby isn't going to stray too far off. Are you from around there?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMutt View Post
    YEah a guy that stole her grave stone probaby isn't going to stray too far off. Are you from around there?
    I lived there when Dana was murdered, and I've never forgotten about this crime through the years. Very shocking and unusual at that time -- unheard of, really. I'm not sure if there have been any other murders since then in Bella Vista. I moved back to the general area recently, and I haven't heard of any up there.

  7. #7
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    I just read about this case on The Cold Case Squad blog and see there hasn't been much activity regarding Dana here on WS.

    Bumping this up so others can read about her.

    Here is a link to an obituary for Dana: http://www.usgwarchives.org/obits/ar...n/s3350006.txt
    Last edited by Marilynilpa; 07-25-2012 at 09:24 AM. Reason: added obituary link

  8. #8
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    Attempted Murder Suspect Accused of Shooting Woman in Face

    Orville Mitchell Goodwin, known at Mitch, was arrested Tuesday morning (July 16) in connection with the May shooting of Annette Rapalee, officials said.
    Investigators believe Goodwin may be connected to the disappearance and death and Dana Stidham, a Benton County woman found killed in 1989.

  9. #9
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    It's so odd the way they just stuck that last part in there, with no explanation or attribution. Who told them LE was looking at Goodwin for Dana's murder? Why? How long have they been looking at him for it? I can't find his name linked with hers on the internet. Is this completely ne information? Sure wish we knew more.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by STEADFAST View Post
    It's so odd the way they just stuck that last part in there, with no explanation or attribution. Who told them LE was looking at Goodwin for Dana's murder? Why? How long have they been looking at him for it? I can't find his name linked with hers on the internet. Is this completely ne information? Sure wish we knew more.
    I was thinking the same thing so I went back and read again this morning. They've added a couple words, but still not clear.
    "Authorities are investigating whether the Rapalee shooting case is connected to the disappearance and death of Dana Stidham, an 18-year-old Benton County woman found killed in 1989 in the same geographical area."

    At first I thought DNA, but it was '89...then I thought maybe Annette implicated him some way. It is very odd.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazTaz View Post
    At first I thought DNA, but it was '89...
    The original post on this thread mentions DNA testing in 2008, but the reference doesn't seem to be available anymore.

    It is odd how that was tacked on to the end of the current article. I keep checking back, hoping for more details.

    I didn't even realize there was a cold case forum on here til I searched for Dana yesterday. I never look at the Crimes and Trials section, but I started reading Arkansas cold cases last night--very interesting!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazTaz View Post
    I was thinking the same thing so I went back and read again this morning. They've added a couple words, but still not clear.
    "Authorities are investigating whether the Rapalee shooting case is connected to the disappearance and death of Dana Stidham, an 18-year-old Benton County woman found killed in 1989 in the same geographical area."

    At first I thought DNA, but it was '89...then I thought maybe Annette implicated him some way. It is very odd.
    he was questioned in early 1990.

  13. #13
    They got the wrong guy

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Concerned Navy View Post
    They got the wrong guy
    I didn't think they had any guy yet. Do you have some information on this case?

    BTW Welcome to Websleuths!

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