‘Mama will still be here’: Arkansas mother whose son was found dead in Drew County isn’t giving up until her son’s killer is behind bars

Arkansas News

DREW COUNTY, Ark. (07/06/20) — The Drew County Sheriff’s office is still trying to solve a murder investigation that happened four months ago.

Marquis Martin, 26, was missing for almost a month before he was found dead in a creek outside of Wilmar on March 7.

Lakisha Arrington, Martin’s mother, has been dealing with his death and faces every day knowing the killer is still on the loose.

“It’s hard without my child but his presence is over me and wrapped around me to where I can still live,” she said.

Since Martin’s death, he has missed out on many life moments with his young son, MJ, including his birthday, graduation and Father’s Day.

Many family members and friends still leave notes and keepsakes near the sight of where he was found. Arrington says it comforts her to know that people are still seeking justice for her son.

“When I come and see this it makes me feel good,” she said. ” It lets me know that he put out of love and this is a way that they’re showing love by coming out here and still leaving him stuff. It lets me know they’re ten toes down for him and they support him.”

Drew County Sheriff, Mark Gober, says investigators along with the Arkansas State Police have interviewed about 45 people in recent months, which he says is three times more than normal for a typical homicide.

Martin’s body was found in a creek on March 7. Although information regarding his death is limited, Gober is certain the crime happened somewhere else and the body was dumped there in the creek.

“We’re trying to put the pieces together ” he said. “Unfortunately his body was missing for over a month and we have no crime scene and no witnesses at this time that have come forward.”

There have been many rumors circulating on social media regarding Martin’s death. According to an official autopsy report obtained by KTVE, the only injuries he sustained was a gunshot wound to his head.

“I’ve heard every last one of these stories. I have text messages from apps saying these things happened to my son,” Arrington said. “I’m very uncomfortable with it. It’s a feeling that I can’t even describe.”

There are also rumors that Sheriff Gober’s son was involved in Martin’s murder which he says is unfounded and isn’t helping the case, at all.

“I know where it came from and that was a fellow employee and a fellow political candidate that ran against me. Our names would have never came up had someone not put this information out there and if he knew something he should come forward with something,” he said.

“The state police has talked about this, Thomas Deen has talked about this and we know it goes nowhere.”

When asked if there was anything different Gober would’ve done while going through the investigation up until this point, he said “it’s hindsight”.

“The fact that a person disappears and doesn’t show up until a month later that’s the big issue right there and not having a crime scene. That crime scene is where your evidence is going to be at,” he said. “We strive forward to come up with some information and this case isn’t closed. We don’t call it a closed case.”

Investigators have picked up several videos from surveillance cameras across Monticello but nothing has led to any arrests being made.

There have been persons of interest that deputies have been looking into but he couldn’t comment on that. He said the department is working to make sure whoever killed Martin is brought into custody.

“We strive forward to come up with some information and this case isn’t closed,” he said. “We don’t call it a closed case.”

As for Arrington, she doesn’t plan on giving up anytime soon until her son’t murderer is behind bars.

“Every time I come down here I cry. I make sure I got see him. I make sure I go to his grave. I make I go by his house,” she said. “Just to let him know mama will still be here and I’m not going anywhere. I’m still going to to have him in my heart.”


Mother speaks out for the first time, expresses concern over the investigation into her son’s death

DREW COUNTY, Ark. (03/10/20) — The family of the man that was found dead Saturday morning is demanding answers about his death.

According to the Drew County Sheriff’s Department, Marquis Martin was last seen on February 9 and reported missing two days later. Martin was found in a creek just a few miles from Wilmar city limits on Highway 133.

“I’m heartbroken,” Martin’s mother, Lakisha Arrington said. “I don’t know who to trust.”

Deputies haven’t released the cause of Martin’s death. His was body was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy. Arrington believes she knows what happened to her 26-year-old son.

“He was kidnapped and murdered,” she said. “His civil rights were taken away from him.”

Arrington and other family members searched near and around Wilmar for their loved one. He never turned up but they remained hopeful. Arrington said she leaned on God for confirmation though many rumors circulated of what could’ve happened to Martin prior to him being found.

“They have told me he was hung in the tree. He was in the Saline River. He was in a dumpster,” Arrington recalled.

She and her daughter also received text messages and calls from a fake text app.

“It was horrible,” she said, “I’ve never been through this before. My life has changed forever.”

She said the process of finding her son wasn’t the easiest and the Drew County Sheriff’s Department didn’t make it any easier. They believe Sheriff Mark Gober didn’t dedicate enough resources to finding their loved one.

“I asked for the dogs from the sheriff and he asked me why do we need the dogs,” Arrington said. “I said to find him and he said we didn’t need the dogs.”

Martin’s cousin, Amber Kolen, also made attempts to reach out to Sheriff Gober.

“I asked for the dogs and he said the dogs would run themselves down,” Kolen said. “You know, like the dogs would be tired looking for him and that was very insensitive to me. Nothing he was doing was sincere. He was not trying to find Marquis.”

Martin was employed with the Drew Central School District and worked part-time for McDonalds. Kolen said her cousin was a great person in the community and a backbone to the family. She remembers Martin telling her constantly to “stay ten toes down and stay strong”.

His family and friends spent the days after his murder putting balloons, candles and other items to remember him.

Martin’s funeral has been scheduled for Friday. His family is hoping someone can come forward with information about his death.

“I need y’all to help me expose, reveal, pray that we get the justice for Marquis. Long live Marquis.”

We reached out to Sheriff Gober for comment and he didn’t respond.

This investigation is still ongoing, anyone with information regarding the death of Marquis Martin is urged to contact the Arkansas State Police at 870-226-3713 or the Drew County Sheriff’s Department at 870-367-6211.

You can submit anonymous tips to info@drewcountysheriff.com or the Monticello Police Department’s tip line at 870-723-LEAD (5323).


DCSD: Authorities say they have found the body of a Drew County man

Video Courtesy: Monticello Live

DREW COUNTY, Ark. (Press Release) – The body of a missing Drew County man was located in an area just outside of the city of Wilmar, AR. on Saturday, March 7th at 7:05 a.m. according to the Drew County Sheriff’s Department. The body was later identified to be that of Marquis Martin, age 26. 

On Saturday morning a call came into the 911 dispatch office from a citizen reporting the finding of a body in a creek just outside of Wilmar. An Arkansas Game and Fish officer was on scene moments after the call and Drew County Sheriff’s officials arrived on scene along with agents of the Arkansas State Police. 

Marquis Martin was pronounced deceased at 9:40 a.m. by the Drew County Coroner. The body of Marquis was recovered by the agencies involved and then transported toStephenson Dearman Funeral Home in Monticello to await being transferred to the Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s Office at the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock, AR.

Marquis Martin was reported missing on February 11th. Marquis was last seen on surveillance video at Murphy’s USA gas station near Walmart in Monticello, AR. on Sunday, February 9th at 9:21 pm; reportedly after leaving Murphy’s he was later driven to his home in Wilmar and dropped off.  When he failed to report for work Monday, February 9th and Tuesday, February 10th, a family friend reported to a Monticello dispatcher that Marquis was missing, at that time a missing person case was opened on Marquis Martin. The Arkansas State Police and the Drew County Sheriff’s Department began investigating the disappearance of Marquis Martin on the date that he was reported missing.

This investigation is still ongoing, anyone with information regarding the death of Marquis Martin is urged to contact the Arkansas State Police at 870-226-3713 or the Drew County Sheriff’s Department at 870-367-6211.  You can submit anonymous tips to info@drewcountysheriff.com or the Monticello Police Department’s tip line at 870-723-LEAD (5323).


Drew County is asking for the public’s help finding a missing person

DREW COUNTY, Ark. (02/11/20) – The Drew County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help in finding a missing person.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Marquis-1.jpg
Marquis Dareun Martin
Courtesy: Drew County Sheriff’s Department

According to the Drew County Sheriff’s Department, Marquis Dareun Martin has been missing since February 9, 2020.

Anyone with information of his whereabouts is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department at 870-367-6211.

You can also reach Sheriff Mark Gober at 870-723-0832 or Investigator Rick Harvey at 870-723-7875.

Stay up to date with the latest news by downloading the KTVE/KARD News App from the App Store or Google Play.

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