The Garland County Sheriff's Department in Arkansas confirmed the arrest Tuesday of a man sought in the 2011 murder of former St. John resident and Lake Central grad Dawna Natzke.
Kevin Duck was taken into custody by Kit Carson Sheriff's Department in the area of Burlington, Colo., on a warrant issued Monday for the first-degree murder of Natzke, according to the Garland County Sheriff's Department.
Natzke's body was found on New Year's Eve 2011 in a remote area of the Ouachita National Forest, about five miles from where her burned-out station wagon had been found Dec. 22. The day before her vehicle was found, Natzke, 46, had left a Christmas party with Duck, her boyfriend, around 11 p.m.
Duck later told detectives the couple returned to Natzke's home after the holiday party and she was gone when he awoke the next morning.
Natzke graduated from Lake Central High School in 1984 and grew up in St. John. She worked as a police dispatcher in Arkansas for seven years.
At age 35, she donated a kidney to her father, prolonging his life by 10 years, according to the preacher at her funeral. Friends said she built her life around her sons: two who played football at Jessieville High School at the time of her death and an older son who lived nearby.
The cause of her death has not been released, but Garland County Prosecutor Steve Oliver said it appeared Natzke, 46, died within three to four hours of leaving the party with Duck.
"The best we know, he was just angry with her; when they left the party he was just angry," Oliver said.
The two had arrived at the party together, along with Natzke's mother, in Natzke's car, according to Oliver.
"She was seen leaving with Mr. Duck. He was kind of leading her out. He wasn't pushing her, just kind of leading her out," he said. "She left her mother behind and her purse."
A friend, Patty Hathaway, told The Associated Press in early 2012 that, shortly after Natzke's disappearance, she had received an odd text message from the woman's phone. Hathaway said she had texted Natzke the day after the party to say she wasn't pleased with how Natzke's boyfriend had "pushed" her out the door.
Nearly two hours later, Hathaway received a text from Natzke's phone, saying: "He didn't push me i fell and he caught me. I had taken a pain pill and was tour up"
Hathaway said she didn't believe Natzke wrote the message. "I know she knows how to spell," she said at that time.
Natzke's disappearance went unreported until Dec. 23, when she didn't show up for her 6 a.m. shift in what would have been her first day back at work after the party.
Oliver declined to elaborate on what evidence was found that led to the charges, other than saying that an FBI investigator trained in tracing cellphone calls was part of the investigation.