Search continues for missing Walnut Ridge teen - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Search continues for missing Walnut Ridge teen

Sidney Nicole Randall, 14, was last seen Saturday night. Sidney Nicole Randall, 14, was last seen Saturday night.
John Cornell was found dead Monday afternoon. John Cornell was found dead Monday afternoon.

(KAIT) - The search for Sidney Nicole Randall continued Wednesday morning with search crews hitting the road around 8 a.m.

Authorities said the search for Sidney will continue around the overpass at U.S. 412 on 67 north. There will also be searches going on around Sidney's home. More search dogs have been brought in to help in the efforts to find the 14-year-old girl.

Police will return to the scene where Sidney's step-father, John Cornell, was found dead.

"We're still hopeful, but we're exploring every possible avenue," said Lawrence County Sheriff Jody Dotson Tuesday evening.

Though crews and departments from all over Region 8 are sending in help, the search for Sidney has brought in crews from across the state. The Arkansas Search Dog Association came to Region 8 Tuesday evening to help.

"We heard about the Amber Alert and we all got together," said Arkansas Search Dog Association volunteer Robert Haas. "We all came out here, some of us drove over two hours to get here, we're just trying to make a difference."

Twelve men and women along with nine dogs from all over Arkansas went to the area where John Cornell's truck and body were found. They continued to search, and the dogs tried to get any kind of scent from Sidney.

"We've not found anything that really ties her to where we found the truck or him," said Sheriff Dotson.

But, that is not stopping law enforcement from combing back over every little detail to be sure.

"We back tracked, every little lead that we possibly could find," Dotson said.

Dotson said the office is looking to the public now in assisting in the search. Dotson said they are calling on property owners in Lawrence and surrounding counties to check their property.

Walnut Ridge Police, Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, and Arkansas State Police have used k-9 units, dive teams, and helicopters to search for 14-year-old Sidney Nicole Randall.

Police are searching ditches, and ponds near the area where John Cornell, the step-dad to Randall, was found dead Monday afternoon.

According to the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department, John Cornell was found dead Monday afternoon on a farm road just off Lawrence Road 438 just outside of Walnut Ridge.

"We got a phone call into our 911 Dispatch Center, a subject was out running a track hoe on one of the county roads cleaning a ditch, had located a truck fitting the description of Mr. Cornell's," said Walnut Ridge Police Chief Richy Thatcher.

"Approximately 200 yards past the truck, we found the body of Mr. Cornell," Thatcher said. Cornell was dead of a gunshot wound. Thatcher said though the incident is still under investigation, at this time, they believe Cornell's death to be suicide.

Police said Cornell was the main suspect in Randall's disappearance, and was wanted for questioning.

After Cornell's death, the Arkansas State Police issued a level 2 Morgan Nick Amber Alert for the 14-year-old Monday afternoon.

Region 8 News spoke with Randall's mother prior to John Cornell's body being discovered. "She has an upcoming pageant in April, and that's how I know she wouldn't have left willingly," said Randall's mother, Denise Cornell.

Denise said all signs point to Randall having been forced from the house sometime Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

"She would not have just got up in the middle of the night and take off without her makeup," Cornell said.

Police said Sidney Randall was last seen wearing a brown Aeropostale jacket, stands 5'4'', weighs about 85 pounds with brown hair just below shoulder length, and green eyes.

Cornell said she won't stop until she finds her daughter. "Sidney, I love you, we miss you. I want you to come home," Cornell said. "We are not going to give up. I'm going to fight. And I'm going to search as long as I breathe."

If you have seen or know anything about her whereabouts contact the Walnut Ridge Police Department at 870-886-3568. Police are also asking if anyone saw the red 2000 Ford Ranger of John Cornell's with Arkansas tags 271 RDT over the past 4 days to contact them.

You can also e-mail your tips to

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