UPDATED: Police arrest suspect in Cross County church murder - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

UPDATED: Police arrest suspect in Cross County church murder

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Surveillance image of the suspect. Surveillance image of the suspect.
WYNNE, AR -

By Janice Broach - bio | email

WYNNE, AR (WMC-TV) - Authorities near Bremerton, Washington arrested a man in connection with the beating death of a woman last weekend inside a Cross County church.

U.S. Marshals arrested Rene Patrick Bourassa, Jr, 34, in Bremerton late Thursday afternoon.  According to Bill Sadler of the Arkansas State Police, Bourassa was driving the Mercury Marquis that belonged to the murder victim, Lillian Wilson.

Authorities have searching for a suspect - and Wilson's car - for much of the week.

Authorities said the body of 80-year-old Lillian Wilson was found Sunday in the Central Methodist Church in the community of Hamlin near Wynne in eastern Arkansas. State police said Wednesday her car had been spotted in Missouri and Washington state.

Cross County Sheriff's deputies stopped at businesses in Hamlin, Arkansas, dropping off pictures of Bourassa.

"Just asking if we'd seen him before," said store clerk Terri Revell.

Revell said she had never seen Bourassa before but put the pictures of him on the counter where anyone who comes in the store will see him.

Helen Kennon, another store owner, said investigators said they have reason to believe Bourassa has been in Arkansas for about three months.  Investigators knew they had a good lead when they saw a surveillance video picture of Bourassa at a gas pump a few miles from where Wilson was murdered.

"They came in and checked our video and they see it on the video," Kennon said.

Bourassa was standing next to Wilson's car.

Investigators in Bourassa's home state of Washington started looking for him after a tip that Wilson's credit card was used there earlier this week.

"As a result of the leads, authorities in Washington state have recovered Lillian Wilson's vehicle in a traffic stop at approximately 4:30 our time," said Cross County Sheriff J.R. Smith.

Bourassa was driving Wilson's car.  He is in custody in Washington.

Two investigators from Cross County were on their way to Washington Thursday night.  They hope to get more information from Bourassa about why he was in the are and for how long.  They hope to find out what, if any connection he had to Wilson.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. The AP contributed to this story.

 

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