BILLINGS, Mont. (CBS4)– Authorities have confirmed that a body found in North Dakota is that of a missing teacher from Montana. Two men from Colorado are suspected in her death.

Sherry Arnold went missing during a morning run in January in Sidney, Mont. Her buried remains were discovered Wednesday outside Williston, N.D.

The location of the body across the state line from where the alleged kidnapping occurred means there could be federal charges against the two suspects in the case, Michael Keith Spell, 22, and Lester Van Waters Jr., 47, both of Parachute, Colo.

waters spell Body Found In North Dakota Is Missing Teacher

Lester Vann Waters Jr. and Michael Keith Spell (credit: Williams County Sheriff's Department)

Arnold was a popular veteran teacher at Sidney High School, where her husband, Gary, also worked. She grew up on a ranch outside the city of 5,000 near the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers.

Spell and Waters pleaded not guilty last month to one count each of aggravated kidnapping during an arraignment in state district court in Sidney.
They face a possible death penalty under Montana law if convicted.

Arnold was grabbed from along Sidney street — apparently at random — while she was jogging near her home. Spell told investigators he pulled her into a car and Waters choked her to death by before they buried her in a shallow grave on a farmstead near Williston.


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