Body in Saline County has been identified; investigation continuing for cause of death
A body found in a section of the Ouachita National Forest on Sunday has been identified as that of a missing Jacksonville woman, but the cause of death for Jackie Hibbs has yet to be determined, authorities said.
Hibbs, 29, had been reported missing on July 19 by the Perry County Sheriff's Office. Authorities said she was last seen alive in the Lake Sylvia area. Her body was discovered Sunday on the Saline County side of the national forest by a person who was preparing for the hunting season.
Along with Saline County sheriff's deputies and detectives, officers from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission responded to the area to begin the investigation.
Lt. Scotty Courtney, public information officer for the Saline County Sheriff's Office, said, "There is no cause of death determined at this time," but the investigation is continuing. He did not confirm whether foul play is involved in Hibbs' death, but said the case is being treated as such until the medical examiner completes an autopsy.
"Anytime we find a deceased body, it is always looked at as a homicide until it is proven otherwise," Courtney explained.
The Saline Courier will continue to report this story as it develops.