AR State Police: 2 Men Arrested in Murder of Mentally Disabled Teen

AR State Police: 2 Men Arrested in Murder of Mentally Disabled Teen

Arkansas State Police continue to investigate the murder of a 19-year-old mentally disabled Poplar Grove man, after his body was found in the trunk of a burned-out car with bricks on top to keep the trunk's lid closed.
POPLAR GROVE, AR (abc24.com) - Arkansas State Police continue to investigate the murder of a 19-year-old mentally disabled Poplar Gove man, after his body was found in the trunk of a burned-out car with bricks on top to keep the trunk's lid closed.

Derric Barfield's family says the loss is compounded by the identity of the suspects now facing charges.

Late Monday night, investigators searched a home across the street from Barfield's family's home, belonging to Eric DeWayne Speaks Jr., one of two suspects charged in Barfield's murder.

"Oh Jesus, oh lord we need you," said a sobbing Shontel Murrell, Barfield's cousin.

"He didn't have no help, he didn't have his family, he needed our help," she said, fighting back tears.

According to investigators, early Friday morning, a Poplar Grove resident called 911 to report an explosion and fire. When firefighters arrived, they found Barfield's body in the back of the trunk.

"We found a vehicle that was consumed, with bricks on the trunk of the car," said Phillips County Sheriff Neal Byrd. "We think they were put there to prevent the person from getting out of the vehicle."

According to a spokesman with the Arkansas State Police, special agents arrested Speaks and charged him with capital murder, kidnapping and arson.

On Saturday night, Daron Lee Nelson, 23, of Marvell, was arrested at an apartment complex in Little Rock. He was also charged with kidnapping, capital murder, and arson.

"Nelson surrendered to State Police Special Agents, Little Rock Police Officers and U.S. Marshals," said Bill Sadler, with the State Police.

"Investigation continues regarding the murder and Nelson's connection to the Little Rock apartment where he was arrested," he added.

"We can't even have an open casket, because how they tortured him, that was torture," said Jackie Jones, Barfield's cousin. "It was terrible, it was un-human, it was un-human, they did to my cuz."

Jones says it is especially hard because the whole family knows Speaks, who lives across the street.

"They pretty much ate from the same table, lived under the same roof practically," she said.

"We are working around the clock, trying to solve this case, and we are not going to stop it," Sheriff Byrd said.

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