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Three arrested in connection with Fort Smith woman's disappearance, death

by NWA Democrat-Gazette | July 31, 2021 at 7:01 a.m.
Kaelin Hutchinson, 24, was arrested Thursday in connection with the disappearance and murder of Tara Strozier, 40, according to a news release from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Hutchinson is facing a charge of obstruction of an officer. (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation)

FORT SMITH -- Three men were arrested Thursday after a Fort Smith woman who had been reported missing was found dead in a pond in eastern Oklahoma.

Alex Nathaniel Davis, 30; Austin Johnson, 23; and Kaelin Hutchinson, 24, are being held at the LeFlore County Detention Center in Poteau, Okla., in connection with the disappearance and murder of Tara Strozier, 40, according to a Friday news release from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Davis is facing charges of first degree murder and kidnapping, Johnson is facing a first degree murder charge and Hutchinson is facing a charge of obstruction of an officer.

The Fort Smith Police Department listed Strozier as a missing person on July 19, the release states. She was last known to be driving a black Volkswagen Jetta with Florida license plates, and the department requested the assistance of the LeFlore County Sheriff's Office after information indicated she was possibly last seen in the area of Cameron, Okla.

A black Volkswagen Jetta was found in a private drive in Cameron on July 24 without any sign of Strozier, according to the release. The sheriff's office suspected foul play and requested OSBI's assistance on Monday.

"Based on the joint investigation, authorities believe Strozier was tortured at an unoccupied mobile home off Neblett Ridge Road in Cameron before being murdered by the pond near Rock Island," the release states.

Davis admitted Thursday to killing Strozier with Johnson present, after which they weighed her body down and threw her into the pond, according to the release. Her body was found Thursday night.

Austin Johnson, 23, was arrested Thursday in connection with the disappearance and murder of Tara Strozier, 40, according to a news release from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Johnson is facing a first degree murder charge. 
(Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation)
Austin Johnson, 23, was arrested Thursday in connection with the disappearance and murder of Tara Strozier, 40, according to a news release from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Johnson is facing a first degree murder charge. (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation)
Alex Nathaniel Davis, 30, was arrested Thursday in connection with the disappearance and murder of Tara Strozier, 40, according to a news release from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Davis is facing charges of first degree murder and kidnapping. 
(Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation)
Alex Nathaniel Davis, 30, was arrested Thursday in connection with the disappearance and murder of Tara Strozier, 40, according to a news release from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Davis is facing charges of first degree murder and kidnapping. (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation)

Print Headline: Three arrested in connection with Fort Smith woman's disappearance, death

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