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Married couple arrested after pregnant Arkansas woman and her fetus found dead in different locations


A married couple was accused of kidnapping Thursday after the body of a missing pregnant woman and her fetus were found in separate locations in Missouri, authorities said.

Ashley Bush, 33, of Benton County, Arkansas, appeared to have been fatally shot after responding to a job posting Oct. 31, prosecutor Nathan Smith told reporters.

Bush was 31 weeks pregnant.

Smith declined to say how the fetus, Valkyrie Grace Willis, was removed from the woman’s body but added: “Clearly, the baby was not found with the mother.”

Ashley Bush.
Ashley Bush.Benton County Sheriff’s Office via Facebook

Smith said he expected more charges against the couple, Amber and Jamie Waterman.

They were booked into the McDonald County Detention Center in Missouri on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping after the sheriff’s office there said it served a search warrant on a local address.

Human remains were found that appeared to be connected to Bush’s missing person’s case, the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office said.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the Watermans have lawyers to speak on their behalf.

“This is just a reminder that there is evil in the world,” Smith said. “People do evil things. That would someone prey upon a pregnant woman at her most vulnerable state is unimaginable. That’s the world we live in.”

Smith said a motive remained unclear.

Bush disappeared after corresponding online with someone named “Lucy” — a woman authorities believe was actually Amber Waterman, Smith said.

Bush had been looking for a job working from home, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Tuesday.

The two met on the morning of Oct. 31 at a convenience store in Maysville, in Arkansas’ northwestern corner, where Bush was to be taken to a job interview nearly 30 miles away, in Bentonville, the sheriff’s office said.

Benton County Sheriff Shawn Holloway said authorities don’t believe Bush ever went to Bentonville.

Valkyrie was found Wednesday, and Bush was found Thursday — both in Missouri. Holloway declined to provide more details, citing an ongoing investigation.

Two counts of homicide were possible in the case because state law allows the charge in the killing of a pregnant woman, Smith said.



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