Burning truck deaths -- Update | Arkansas Blog

Friday, January 22, 2010

Burning truck deaths -- Update

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 9:05 AM

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Pulaski County District Court Judge Wayne Gruber set no bond this morning for Robert Todd Gatrell, who stands accused of two counts of capital murder in the deaths of a toddler and her father who were found dead in a burning truck found near Sweet Home on December 12. Gatrell is also charged with felony arson.

Gruber set a bond hearing in the case for Feb 1. The judge also ruled in favor of Pulaski County Prosecutors' motion that the Gatrell's arrest affidavit remain sealed. The Pulaski County Sheriff's Department said yesterday that there may be as many as two more arrests in connection with the murders. Otherwise, police have been mum on details.

Michael Palmer and his daughter Hannah Grace Dowdie were found dead in the burning truck after workers at a nearby quarry saw smoke. Hannah was in the cab, while Palmer was in the bed. Palmer had only been awarded custody of his daughter the day before. According to an arrest report, Gatrell lives on Shamburger Lane, near the site where the bodies were found.

As Gatrell was walked out of the courtroom in chains to a waiting van, the reporter asked him if he committed the crimes. Gatrell looked up, then down, and replied "I ain't talking" in a very quiet voice.

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