EARLE, AR (WMC) - Crittenden County Sheriff's investigators want to know who murdered a father of two early Tuesday morning in Earle.
Friends and family said he was a beloved man who worked for the Earle School District.
"I guess about 3 or 4 a.m. in the morning I heard a whole lot of racket going on," said neighbor Charlie Barnes. "Sounded like a wall was coming in."
Barnes said the noise from his neighbor's apartment in Earle sounded like things were being thrown around.
When Crittenden County investigators arrived, they found the body of 62-year-old Lonnell Jackson, Sr. in his 2nd Street apartment.
"Immediately when they told me who it was, my heart fell," said Cathy Moore.
Moore said she was Jackson's best friend. She met him 25 years ago, and their children grew up together.
Jackson has an adult daughter and son, and he worked as a janitor for the Earle School District.
Investigators have not said exactly how Jackson died but it appears he may have been beaten to death.
Neighbors like Barnes say he lived alone. Barnes said he only knew him to say hello, but he said people would go in and out of his apartments, friends say because he was so generous.
"He would let you in if you needed to stay," Moore said. "He was just a good guy. I can't believe it."
It is a crime that Earle residents did not expect in their small town.
"I'm really surprised," Moore said. "Little bitty Earle is not big enough for all of this situation to be going on in our town."
Marquese Clark was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.