Cold Case Murder of Sabrina Underwood Solved; Suspect Already Serving Life Sentence

Cold Case Murder of Sabrina Underwood Solved; Suspect Already Serving Life Sentence

Arkansas police have cracked a decades-old murder mystery, charging Rick Allen Headley with the 1991 killing of 19-year-old Sabrina Underwood. However, Headley, currently incarcerated at the Varner Maximum Security Unit for another crime, may not face additional consequences as he’s already serving a life sentence without parole.

In January 1991, Sabrina’s mother reported dropping her daughter near Bear Creek in Boone County, intending to hitchhike to North Central Unit prison in Calico Rock. Sabrina vanished soon after. Months later, items linked to Sabrina were discovered by a hunter, followed by the nearby location of human remains confirmed to be hers. The cause of death remained undetermined then.

The case saw significant progress in July 2022 when state police received a tip from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, sourced from a local attorney whose client claimed that Headley admitted to the crime in a written confession. On interviewing Headley, authorities found that he accepted writing the confession and divulged details of picking up Sabrina in Bellefonte. He claimed Sabrina tried to blackmail him, leading to her murder. He described concealing Sabrina’s body and discarding the murder weapon. Following the crime, Headley reportedly disposed of his bloodstained clothes and returned to his Mountain Home residence.

Another witness in August 2022 confirmed Headley’s confession, indicating he wanted to unburden his guilt. Headley, now 48, was earlier sentenced for the 2018 murder of his estranged wife. He awaits a court hearing on Sabrina’s murder next month.

Lou Nightingale
Author: Lou Nightingale

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