Investigators: Body in southwest Missouri is missing pregnant Arkansas woman, Ashley Bush

KOAM
Mugshots courtesy McDonald Co. Sheriff's office.

MCDONALD COUNTY, Mo. – Authorities say human remains found in southwest Missouri are those of Ashley Bush, who was reported missing out of Benton County, Arkansas. Because this case crosses state lines, the FBI has joined the investigation.

The Benton County, Arkansas Sheriff’s Office held a press conference shortly after 4:00 pm today. You can watch it below and find the Q&A portion here.

They say two people have been arrested for kidnapping in the case. Authorities believe both were involved in the crime. The charges in the case will develop as jurisdictions are figured out. The two individuals are:

  • Amber Waterman
  • Jamie Waterman

According to arrest records, they are in custody at this time for kidnapping. The Watermans are husband and wife.

There are several details the Benton County Sheriff’s Office says they don’t know or can’t release at this time. An autopsy is being scheduled. They do believe Bush died from a gunshot wound, but again, are waiting for autopsy results to confirm.

Ashley Bush was last seen on October 31, 2022, at the intersection of Hwy 72 and Hwy 43 in Maysville, Arkansas. At this time, authorities believe she thought she was getting into a vehicle with a woman named “Lucy” following an online meeting for a job interview.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office says they believe that woman was Amber Waterman.

During the press conference, authorities said the following, “This is just a reminder there is evil in the world. People do evil things.”

Keep reading to learn more about what’s believed to happen to the baby and the missing person case.

Information from McDonald County after Human Remains were Found

Missouri authorities say human remains were recovered Thursday, November 3, 2022, at a home in rural McDonald County, Missouri.

Sheriff Rob Evenson says Benton County, Ark. Detectives investigating a missing person case alerted Missouri authorities to a residence at 1848 Laughlin Ridge Road in rural McDonald County. Human remains were recovered at that location.

Benton County, Arkansas Sheriff’s deputies were also on the scene at the McDonald County home.

Authorities have not identified the body. They are waiting on DNA confirmation.

Additionally, Sheriff Evenson tells KOAM’s Shannon Becker they responded on Monday night to reports of a newborn baby not breathing. EMS intercepted the couple near Longview, Mo. as they were on the way to a hospital.

EMS could not revive the baby, and the baby died.

According to the Sheriff, the woman claimed the baby was hers. However, Sheriff Evenson tells KOAM they could not confirm that.

The couple that met EMS on the road Monday night resides at 1848 Laughlin Ridge Road.

“Two people were taken into custody and are being held in the McDonald County Jail pending the filing of formal charges.

This was another demonstration of how teamwork can bring a difficult and complicated case to a quick conclusion.” – McDonald County Sheriff’s Office

Missing Persons Case

According to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Ashley Bush was last seen in the passenger seat of and older model tan pickup truck on the afternoon of October 31, 2022, at the intersection of Hwy 72 and Hwy 43 in Maysville Arkansas.

The driver was a white woman in her 40’s with shoulder-length brown hair who stated her name was “Lucy”.

Ashley met Lucy online when she was looking for a job working from home. Lucy picked her up that morning at the Handi-Mart in Maysville to take her to a job interview in Bentonville.

At approximately 3:00 pm, Ashley texted her ride to say she was in Gravette, on her way to Handi-Mart, so he could pick her up. Lucy and Ashley arrived at the intersection near Handi-Mart, turned north onto Hwy 43 and continued north. She has not been seen or heard from since.

She was last seen wearing a black hoodie, blue jeans and black slip-on shoes. She was 31 weeks pregnant.

Stay with KOAM for additional information as information is released on this developing case.