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Dawna Natzke is missing

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Authorities in Hot Springs, Arkansas are searching for a police dispatcher who has now been missing a week.
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Forty six year-old Dawna Natzke was last seen with her boyfriend leaving a Christmas party that was held at Property Owners Association general manager Scott Randall's home within the gated community of Hot Springs Village about 10:30 p.m. last Wednesday (12-21.) 
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The privately owned gated community, with its own private police force which employs approximately thirty officers, is home to about 12,000 residents.

Natzke's son reported his mother missing about 6 a.m. Friday morning.  That was about the same time her shift was to begin at the Hot Springs Village Police Department.  Fellow employees became alarmed when Natzke, who has been employed by the department for the last seven years, failed to show up for her shift.  "She is a conscientious employee," said Public Safety director Laroy Cornett.

A U.S Parks Service employee found Natzke's teal 1997 Ford Escort "burned out" off of Highway 298 in the Ouachita National Forest about 11:15 a.m. on Thursday December 22nd.  There was no one inside the vehicle.  "At that time she hadn't been reported missing," said Cornett.

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A dog team was unsuccessful Monday (12-26) in finding the missing woman when it searched the area near where Natzke's charred car was found. The vehicle has been sent to the Arkansas State Police Crime Lab in hopes that it will aid authorities in their investigation into the woman's disappearance.

Natzke's live-in boyfriend, Kevin Duck, says Natzke was watching T.V. when he went to bed at 11:00 p.m. and he has no idea how she went missing, or why her car was found burned.  Natzke's house is within the gated community, according to Cornett. 
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Kevin Duck is a "person of interest" in Natzke's murder


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Duck told investigators that when he woke up about 7:30 a.m. Thursday (12-22) he assumed Natzke had gone to work.  However, she had taken a vacation day for Thursday and was not due to report to work until 6 a.m. on Friday.

A friend of Natzke's told investigators they received a text message from Dawna about 8:00 a.m. Thursday (12-22) stating that she was "Okay....but the style and verbage used was not consistent with the way Dawna sent text messages," said Director Cornett's assistant, Eloise Wiegand." 
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According to a timeline of events provided by Cornett, the "friend who had received strange text message called neighbor of Mrs. Natzke about 8:30 p.m.  Neighbor went to Mrs. Natzke's home and talked to family member.  No sense of alarm at that time."
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At 6:38 a.m. Friday (12-23) morning a BOLO was issued for Natzke and her vehicle.  Cornett says that numerous interviews were conducted by investigators Friday and Saturday and that Natzke's vehicle was reported "located" at 10:35 p.m. on Christmas Eve. 
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When asked about some alleged scratches and abrasions to Duck's body that appeared after Natzke's disappearance- Cornett said, "I've not been made aware of any.  We  have interviewed a number of people, including him, in an attempt to develop leads in our missing colleagues disappearance."

Director Cornett says rumors that officers suspended their search for the missing mother of three on Friday so officers could spend the holidays with their families "are absolutely false."  "One of my investigators canceled a prepaid vacation to look for her over the holiday weekend."

According to Patty Hathaway, Natzke's best friend, authorities told her there has been no activity on Natzke's cell phone or credit cards in the last week.

"Her disappearance is suspicious.  We really don't have an identifiable crime scene and can't say for certain at this time that a crime has been committed.  We're covering all our bases so if our worst fears are realized we can bring it to a successful prosecution," said Cornett.
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Natzke is 5'6" with brown hair with blonde highlights and brown eyes.  If you have any information about her disappearance you're asked to call the Hot Springs Village police at 501-922-0011.

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12-27-11:

Calls made to speak to someone Tuesday at the Hot Springs Village police department regarding Natzke's disappearance were not returned. A spokeswoman for the department said, "We expect to have a news release out tomorrow (12-28-11) about 2 p.m."
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12-29-11:

Searchers on foot, horseback and helicopter combed through dense woods in western Arkansas today looking for any signs of Natzke, who disappeared more than a week ago.

Hot Springs Village sits in two counties, Saline and Garland.  Sheriff's offices from both counties are now assisting Village police in the investigation into Natzke's disappearance, according to Cornett.

Cornett says nothing new was turned up by searchers today, and workers are checking ravines and culverts for Natzke in the village.

When asked if they had pinpointed the location from which the "strange text message" was sent from Natzke's phone to a friend last Thursday, Cornett said, "We're diligently working all aspects of this case, Kathee."

Natzke's family says volunteers are needed to help search for the missing woman this weekend.  A community search will get underway at 8 a.m. Saturday (12-31) at Jessieville School.
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12-31-11:
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Body Recovered In Search For Missing Police Dispatcher:



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A body was recovered this morning (12-31) during an organized search near Jessieville, Arkansas for a missing police dispatcher.

Laroy Cornett, the Public Safety Director for Hot Springs Village, says a body believed to be that of Dawna Smith-Natzke was found in a pond about 5 miles from where the charred remains of Natzke's vehicle were found last week. "We're not entirely certain that it is our missing employee, but there is only one missing persons case in this area. We are certainly going on the assumption that it is Mrs. Natzke."




Over 300 volunteers were involved in the search for Natzke.
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Cornett says the body was found in Garland County and his department will assist deputies in their investigation. "We're handling it as a homicide but no one has been charged and there is no one in custody at this time in connection with Mrs. Natzke's disappearance."

Conett says he has not seen the body and he does not know if there were any visible wounds like gunshots or stab wounds to the body that was recovered about 9:00 this morning.

Natzke went missing after attending a holiday party with her mother and boyfriend last Wednesday (12-21) within the gated community of Hot Springs Village. Natzke's live-in boyfriend, Kevin C. Duck, 28, told investigators that Natzke was watching television when he went to bed around 11:00 p.m.




Dawna was not reported missing until Friday morning around 6 a.m. after her son called police and she did not show up for her scheduled shift at the department.

Duck allegedly told authorities he has no idea how Dawna went missing or why her car was burned in the Ouachita National Forest. Duck has family that live not far from where the body was recovered.

Sources say Duck's brother and sister-in-law are hiding because Duck allegedly told them, "If I go down for this you are too."

By all accounts, Natzke, who had separated from her husband in April, was a loyal and caring woman who gave one of her kidney's to her father to save his life.

According to Cornett, Natzke's house was searched, but not sealed, by investigators and no one has been living in the house since Natzke's disappearance.  So, who was the "family member" the neighbor talked with when they went to check on Dawna after a friend called them about receiving a strange text message from the missing woman.  "Her children are with their father,"  said Cornett.

Natzke's boss says, "We've tried to preserve as much evidence as possible for a prosecutable case."
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TIMELINE PROVIDED BY HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE POLICE IN DAWNA NATZKE DISAPPEARANCE:

Hot Springs Village Police Department Missing Person Case No. 2011004709

Wednesday, 12/21:

7 p.m. Dawna Natzke and boyfriend attend party at Hot Springs Village Property Owners Association General Manager, Scott Randall's home.

10:30 to 11 p.m. Mrs. Natzke and boyfriend seen leaving party together.

11 p.m. Boyfriend reports he and Mrs. Natzke went home. He went to bed; she was watching T.V.

Thursday, 12/22:

7:30 a.m. Boyfriend reports he awoke and found Mrs. Natzke and her vehicle gone. Assumed she had gone to work. (Note: Mrs. Natzke was not due to work as she had taken a vacation day.)

8:00 a.m. (approx.) Friend of Mrs. Natzke received a strange text message from Mrs. Natzke's cell phone.

11:15 a.m. Mrs.  Natzke's vehicle was discovered by U.S. Forest Service employee in a remote area. The vehicle had been been burned.

7 p.m. Boyfriend reported to Hot Springs Village Police Dept. he had not seen Mrs. Natzke all day.

8:30 p.m. Friend who had received strange text message called neighbor of Mrs. Natzke. Neighbor went to Mrs. Natzke's home and talked to family member. No sense of alarm at that time.

Friday, 12/23:

6 a.m. Mrs. Natzke did not report for duty. Son of Mrs. Natzke reported mother had not returned home. Investigation begun.

6:38 a.m. BOLO (Be on the lookout) issued regarding Mrs. Natzke and her vehicle. Search begun. Numerous interviews conducted.

Saturday, 12/24:

Interviews conducted: search for Mrs.  Natzke and her vehicle continued.

10:35 p.m. HSVPD notified Mrs. Natzke's vehicle located.

Sunday, 12/25:

Mrs. Natzke's vehicle towed to HSVPD garage.

Monday, 12/26:

Area around spot where Mrs. Natzke's vehicle was found was searched. Search dogs were utilized.

Tuesday, 12/27:

Interviews of potential witnesses continued.

Wednesday, 12/28:

Search dogs and team again being utilized in area where car was recovered.

Mrs. Natzke's vehicle being processed by the Arkansas State Crime Lab.

February 02, 2012:

Kevin Duck is in jail on a probation violation



Kevin Duck was arrested by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana on February 1, 2012 on a no bond Arkansas Warrant for probation violation.

Lt. James "Corky Martin said in a news release, "There are still lots of rumors and false information being spread via the internet on this case. We would like to stress that anyone with information pertaining to this case to please call Garland County Sheriff’s investigating officers at 501-622-3690. If the caller wishes, they can leave an anonymous message at 501-622-3674. "
The Garland County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $1000 reward and Hot Springs Village has offered an additional $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of Dawna Natzke. 

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, so sorry to hear this. It really saddens me that the police there would suspend their search for the officers to spend family time. Does that mean that noone was watching the Village all day?
I really hope they find her alive and am sure glad I don't live there any more.

Anonymous said...

DAWNA NATZKE
I understand that the boyfriend had a lot of unexplained scratches on him, but nothing has been reported about this.

Anonymous said...

I new Dawna from when I lived in the village we all hung out in the same bar It does not surprise me at all how this is being handled .Time after time things happen in the gated community that get covered up.I wish they would release if the party she was last seen at was inside the gates or not.Those are maned gates or key cared or if this party was at Patsys bar and grill were this group of people hung out/

Anonymous said...

Dawna

Party was on Montanoso, off Minorca Rd, where new General Mgr Scott Randall and his wife live.

As a new Village Resident, I second the cover ups. Strangest social culture we've ever seen.

Today, Property Owner Association trucks were driving the Village backroads.. Not walking woods, or trails, just driving the innumerable roads w/o houses...It's like noone knows where else to look.

Today is also the very first day there is anything of substance in The Hot Springs Village Voice. Just appeared today. Not an inch in the hardcopy paper published yesterday. Not one word, even in the Police Report!

Surreal.

Anonymous said...

Dawna

Party was on Montanoso, off Minorca Rd, where new General Mgr Scott Randall and his wife live.

As a new Village Resident, I second the cover ups. Strangest social culture we've ever seen.

Today, Property Owner Association trucks were driving the Village backroads.. Not walking woods, or trails, just driving the innumerable roads w/o houses...It's like noone knows where else to look.

Today is also the very first day there is anything of substance in The Hot Springs Village Voice. Just appeared today. Not an inch in the hardcopy paper published yesterday. Not one word, even in the Police Report!

Surreal.

Darlene said...

I grew up in HSV. I no longer live there, but the area and people are very dear to my heart. There is no cover up going on here. They have searched everyday since she was reported missing. Keep in mind before you type whatever thoughts you can think of concerning this that people close to Dawna including her sons may read it. Also, newcomer, if HSV is so horrible why live there? Let's keep the focus on facts and finding Dawna!!

Anonymous said...

I think we are using the words cover-up without clarity. The police surely are doing what they can to find a colleague. However, they have also infuriated residents and media alike by refusing to answer questions until Wednesday. A more appropriate phraseology would be a media (and resident) blackout. That has kept many of us from helping as people were unaware until KARK and Sentinel broke the HSV PD/POA gag rules and went public with her disappearance. Folks can volunteer Saturday thanks to the Jessieville School. It's Jessieville, not HSV that is source of widespread community support. And the HSV PD needs every bit of help it can muster from neighboring jurisdictions. True FBI expertise and resources would be great. It's a big leap from public safety to a broadscale "manhunt", in this instance for a much loved woman.

For those who would like to help, the area to be canvassed is huge. Will look forward to meeting you Darlene! Hope you can make it back to help.

http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Montanoso+Way,+Hot+Springs+Village,+AR&daddr=34.6674531,-92.975773+to:11+Rota+Lane,+Hot+Springs+Village,+AR+to:LAKE+QUACHITA+STATE+PARK,+JESSIEVILLE,+AR+to:Blonde+Road,+AR+to:harding+lane,+Jessieville,+AR&hl=en&sll=34.655395,-93.12622&sspn=0.362618,0.477905&geocode=FanzEAId8ZV1-inJrcz-aSXNhzFDvYjBf9SZ8w%3BFb37EAIdY011-ilVhO6NdSXNhzFZtix_M2FpWA%3BFfonEQIdHlh0-imhFI-OQibNhzEmtpHNaZV1YA%3BFW8vEAIdPxVy-iFDhh8n1614KA%3BFZ1zEQIdn4Vw-imDJ07U5MTMhzEbITLg40hgxw%3BFShsEQIdBv9y-inhR2DG8NjMhzF4m1yXTFaCDg&vpsrc=0&mra=ls&via=1&t=h&z=11

A- location of party
B - Dawna's home
C - Lake Quachita State Park
D - general location of burned vehicle
E - Luther Duck business/ home

Anonymous said...

It is very sad that the first 48 hrs of an investigation is the most crucial and it went by w/out anyone investigating anything, that following monday it rained all day, guess all the evidence surrounding where the car was charred would be washed away,so hey chalk one up for the criminal whose getting away for now YAY!! WAY TO GO HSV PD!!!!

Thats ok all us rednecks are getting on 4wheelers,horses,ATVs,and even combing the woods on foot tomarrow,trust me ....we would have been out there sooner if we would have realized how incompetent the police force was that was handling this investigation. Why havent the FBI been called in? DEAR JESUS PLEASE PROTECT DAWNA, BRING HER HOME,AND WATCH OVER ALL WHO WILL BE OUT SEARCHING FOR HER,BRING THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE TO JUSTICE...IN JESUS NAME,AMEN

Anonymous said...

It is very sad that the first 48 hrs of an investigation is the most crucial and it went by w/out anyone investigating anything, that following monday it rained all day, guess all the evidence surrounding where the car was charred would be washed away,so hey chalk one up for the criminal whose getting away for now YAY!! WAY TO GO HSV PD!!!!

Thats ok all us rednecks are getting on 4wheelers,horses,ATVs,and even combing the woods on foot tomarrow,trust me ....we would have been out there sooner if we would have realized how incompetent the police force was that was handling this investigation. Why havent the FBI been called in? DEAR JESUS PLEASE PROTECT DAWNA, BRING HER HOME,AND WATCH OVER ALL WHO WILL BE OUT SEARCHING FOR HER,BRING THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE TO JUSTICE...IN JESUS NAME,AMEN

Anonymous said...

RE:DAWNA It is very sad that the first 48 hrs of an investigation is the most crucial and it went by w/out anyone investigating anything, that following monday it rained all day, guess all the evidence surrounding where the car was charred would be washed away,so hey chalk one up for the criminal whose getting away for now YAY!! WAY TO GO HSV PD!!!!

Thats ok all us rednecks are getting on 4wheelers,horses,ATVs,and even combing the woods on foot tomarrow,trust me ....we would have been out there sooner if we would have realized how incompetent the police force was that was handling this investigation. Why havent the FBI been called in? DEAR JESUS PLEASE PROTECT DAWNA, BRING HER HOME,AND WATCH OVER ALL WHO WILL BE OUT SEARCHING FOR HER,BRING THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE TO JUSTICE...IN JESUS NAME,AMEN

Anonymous said...

RE:DAWNA It is very sad that the first 48 hrs of an investigation is the most crucial and it went by w/out anyone investigating anything, that following monday it rained all day, guess all the evidence surrounding where the car was charred would be washed away,so hey chalk one up for the criminal whose getting away for now YAY!! WAY TO GO HSV PD!!!!

Thats ok all us rednecks are getting on 4wheelers,horses,ATVs,and even combing the woods on foot tomarrow,trust me ....we would have been out there sooner if we would have realized how incompetent the police force was that was handling this investigation. Why havent the FBI been called in? DEAR JESUS PLEASE PROTECT DAWNA, BRING HER HOME,AND WATCH OVER ALL WHO WILL BE OUT SEARCHING FOR HER,BRING THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE TO JUSTICE...IN JESUS NAME,AMEN

Anonymous said...

Dawna Natzke is a friend. LaRoy Cornett is a retired FBI Agent. In his arrogance, I can only assume that he felt he still had the qualifications to find her on his own terms. In all of the years he has been "Chief of Police" in the Village, I can only assume he has grown complacent with the general security of over seeing the needs of a gated community and it's obvious to me and many others that it is way past time for his retirement as a Village official.

Anonymous said...

Dawna Natzke's body has been found within less than an hour of the organized search. I hope the family may find some closer now. My prayers and deep condolences are with all who loved her.

Anonymous said...

I am saddened at the loss of Dawna Natzke and feel that this investigation should have been handled more thoroughly. If the local department didn't feel they could handle the case then they should have rolled it over into the hands of a bigger department so they could have found Ms. Natzke. I am saddened that through all of these holidays her family and friends have been left to mourn not knowing whether she was alive or not while officials are enjoying time with their family. I pray for God to wrap comforting arms around this family and Ms. Natzke's friends and all who knew her and rest assured that justice will be served. May God Bless this community.

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