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Siloam Springs Police Investigate Death

Police believe 20-year-old Robbie Williams died while walking back from Cherokee Casino in temperatures well below freezing.
Siloam Springs, AR - Police are investigating the death of a man who disappeared last week and was found by a family member Saturday.

Police believe 20-year-old Robbie Williams was walking back from Cherokee Casino early Monday morning in temperatures well below freezing when he died.

"Initially when we got the report on Tuesday he was last seen at the Cherokee Casino at about 2:30 in the morning of December 9th," says Detective Sergeant Todd Brakeville.

Family members told detectives Williams was drinking, and taking controlled substances earlier in the day before he disappeared.

"We started an investigation, started searching the field to the north of the casino," Brakeville says.

The search came up empty, and this weekend police received a tip that Williams was seen at an EZ-Mart shortly after he left the casino. On Saturday afternoon, a family member found the man's body lying in the back yard of a home on South Carl Street.

"The homeowner said it's not uncommon for people to walk through their yard, because there's an old sidewalk that's been there for a really long time," Brakeville says. "He's familiar with that area. Williams has been in Siloam for a while."

Brakeville says Williams walked about a mile in temperatures with a single digit windchill factor.

"He had on a light sweater with tennis shoes and blue jeans," Brakeville says. "He was not appropriately dressed to be out in the weather for that period of time."

However, police are investigating the death as a homicide.

"The snow had not been disturbed by anybody other than the f irst responders that were there," he says. "We're fairly confident that there's no evidence of foul play, but we're still going to approach it from all angles."

Police say Williams may have been walking to a family member's house nearby. Brakeville says it is extremely important to dress appropriately if you plan on walking during cold weather, and to avoid drugs or alcohol, because they impair your judgement.

Detectives are conducting follow up interviews, and have sent fluid samples to the Arkansas State Crime Lab to test for intoxicants.
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