Authorities in Boone County, Arkansas are searching for a "person of interest" in the death of 53 year-old Susan Powers. Powers was found shot multiple times in her home near Omaha on Tuesday (05-19-09).

Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to Powers home on Old Cricket Road shortly after 3 p.m. following a 911 call made in Hollister, Mo, by a female relative of the suspect, who reported that Powers was dead.

Cop's say the man they are searching for, 43 year-old Ernest Chastain, who had been dating Powers for a few months.


Chastain is described as a white male, 5-foot-11, 225 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.



Neighbors told investigators that they heard gunshots between 10 and 11 a.m., and a little after 3 p.m.

Chastain is believed to be driving a red 1996 Isuzu Rodeo S-U-V they believe was recently purchased. The Rodeo is believed to have some damage to the front, with either no plates or an unknown plate.


UPDATE (05-21-09):

A man authorities in Boone County, AR, have been searching for as "a person of interest" for his alleged connection to the murder of his girlfriend near Omaha on Tuesday has been apprehended in Missouri.

Working on a tip, authorities in Stone County started watching the Shoal Motel near a local campground where they believed Ernest Doyle Chastain Jr, was holed up in.

Stone County Chief Deputy Quirt Page says his office got a call from a the manager of the motel who was alerted by a guest who thought another guest could be the man authorities were looking for after watching the 10 p.m. news.

Quirt says that deputies waited until daylight in a room right in front of a red Isuzu S-U-V that had Arkansas plates.

Their wait paid off....a little after 7 a.m. Chastain was taken into custody as he walked toward the S-U-V that was stolen when 53 year-old Susan Powers was shot to death in her home.

Chastain and a woman who was in the motel room were taken into custody without incident.

Quirt says the woman really didn't know Chastain, "we determined that she was someone he picked up in Taney County. Quirt added that the woman, "was pretty surprised and shocked," after authorities questioned her.
Once they determined that determined the woman had no role in Powers death she was released.
Chastain waived extradition and was released to Boone County Arkansas authorities for transfer to their facilities.

Boone County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Wes Bradford says a murder warrant was issued against Chastain, but it had not been returned to the circuit clerks office as of 3:30 p.m.
Bradford says, "I believe he will be arraigned on charges sometime tomorrow."

Search warrants were served on the motel room and the S-U-V Chastain was driving for any possible evidence that could be connected to the homicide.



***image of Powers home--Harrison Daily Times

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