Sydney Sutherland: Slain Arkansas jogger’s mom says daughter’s rapist and killer ‘deserves death penalty’

The mother of Sydney Sutherland, who was found dead two days after she went missing on August 19, has said that her daughter’s alleged killer deserves death penalty. The 24-year-old Arkansas jogger’s remains were found on August 21 after she went missing while jogging on State Highway 18 between Newport and Grubb. A farmer named Quake Lewellyn was arrested in connection to her murder, who initially confessed to the crime. The 28-year-old reportedly said that he hit the woman with a pickup truck and raped her before burying her body.

However, Lewellyn later denied the accusations and pleaded not guilty to capital murder, kidnapping, rape and abuse of a corpse. Sydney’s devastated mother Maggy Sutherland thinks otherwise and believes Lewellyn is the culprit who murdered her daughter. The 55-year-old opened up about her pain after losing her daughter with The Sun as she said, “It always comes back to, Why wasn’t I there? Why was I not with her? Why did this happen? Everyone is still in shock, it just does not seem real. It’s like we are living a nightmare, not just the family but also the community. Sydney was the family’s rock. She planned all the family events down to every last detail. We all called her Sassy because it’s the best way to describe our Sydney. She was a very beautiful, caring and loving person.”

Maggy continued, “She brought light to everyone who came in contact with her. As a family, we are living day to day and trying to get through this tragedy. We are grieving the best way we know how. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t think of her and miss her pretty smile. It’s still pretty hard on me, we were best friends.”

When the grieving mother was asked what would she like to say to the accused, she stated with teary eyes, “Why did you take my daughter? Why her? And he will probably never look me straight in the eye and tell me what he did, or what her last words were or anything. I don’t know what he got out of that because he took a beautiful life, a young woman who had a bright future. He was very cruel to do what he did and the way that he did it.”

“To me, he deserves the death penalty, he is a monster, an evil monster. She did not deserve any of that. I still go to where it was at, I’ve walked it, I’ve done every step she’s taken, to try and see what happened. He will never tell the truth,” Maggy added. The mother also spoke about the day when Sydney vanished. She said just before that they all, including the victim and her boyfriend Alex Nicholson, came back from a nice holiday in Destin, Florida. “We’d had a great trip, and she loved the beach. Everything was just right that day. She came over, we talked a little bit, and she went and got my mail and she came back. She said, ‘I’m going to go home, I’m going to bake some brownies or cookies.’ She was leaving and I said, ‘I love you, I’ll talk to you later’. She said, ‘I love you too’. And that was the last I heard from her,” Maggy mentioned.

The woman said that on August 19 in the evening around 5 pm, she got to know that her daughter was nowhere to be found. She reportedly got a call from Nicholson and without wasting a moment, she went to her house after informing other family members. “Her boyfriend Alex called me. He said, ‘have you seen or heard from Sydney?’ I was like, ‘No, what’s going on?’ He said, ‘Well, she’s not home. I can’t find her. Her car is here. Her keys are here. The last time I talked to her she was going to do a run’. I was probably there within 15 minutes and had already called her brothers and her dad,” Maggy said. “I just threw my hands up like, ‘we’ve been everywhere down that road she ran and there was no sign, nothing’. I said, ‘Something’s wrong’. And that’s when the tragedy began. I panicked, I just thought… has someone gone through here, drug-related, and snatched her up? People kept saying, ‘Would she get in a car?’ And I was like, ‘No, she would not’.”

She said she took help from the Jackson County Sheriff’s office and AT&T to try and track Sydney’s phone and Apple Watch. “She did not do this run [as a] routine. She was a nurse. She had different shifts all the time. It was never every day and at no certain time. We searched all night long, by the next day we had several different departments, state police, FBI, and I would say nearly 300 people volunteering. We did not get sleep for days, we did not get sleep until they found her,” Maggy described.

Sydney’s family got to know about her tragic death from the police that left them traumatized. “We were very traumatized by this, she was the light of our lives. But we stuck together as a very close family, and we stayed together in the days afterwards,” Maggy added.