Two Men Allegedly Kidnapped, Killed Man After Being Told He Sexually Abused 6-Year-Old

Two men could face the death penalty in connection with the death of an Arkansas man they allegedly believed sexually abused a teenager when she was 6-years-old.

Daniel Blanks, 43, of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Reginald Baker, 40, of Seligman, Missouri, were charged with capital murder, kidnapping and burglary after the victim, Richard Phillips' body was found in the woods. The two allegedly broke into Phillips' Springdale, Arkansas home after a teenage girl reportedly told them Phillips sexually abused her when she was younger, a claim that police said allegedly made them enraged.

The girl was reportedly at a party with all three men when she told Baker what allegedly happened, according to court records. Baker reportedly became angry, grabbed a knife from the kitchen and claimed he wanted to kill Phillips, but the girl was able to calm Baker down and he reportedly promised not to hurt Phillips, the report said.

However, according to the report, on November 23, about a month after the party, Baker, who is the ex-boyfriend of Phillips' wife, and Blanks allegedly broke into Phillips' home and beat him unconscious before dragging his body out of the apartment. Security camera footage from the apartment showed two men dragging an unconscious person into the bed of a pickup truck.

sexual assuault murder
Reginald Baker, right and Daniel Blanks, left, were arrested and charged with capital murder after allegedly kidnapping and killing a man they believed sexually abused a 6-year-old girl. Washington County Sheriff's Office

After the attack, the teenager who was allegedly abused by Phillips reportedly called her family and said Phillips was dead and "where he should be." She also allegedly sent them pictures from the crime scene, something she told police she did because she thought they should know what happened to Phillips.

A search of her cell phone reportedly uncovered messages between her and Baker about Phillips being kidnapped, but Baker denied being involved.

Police apprehended Baker and Blanks in Oklahoma while they were sitting in Baker's truck. Blanks' truck was parked nearby and matched the one seen on security footage from the victim's apartment. While searching the vehicles, police reportedly found blood in Blanks' car and a shotgun in Baker's truck.

The next day, a group of hunters located a naked male body in the Mark Twain National Forest. Since the man was "obviously deceased," the hunters didn't approach the body but called the police department to report what they found.

Police used Phillips' tattoos to confirm the body was his and observed that he had been "beaten badly and shot multiple times."

"Injuries to the body indicated deliberate mutilation that would have been in retaliation for the sex offense allegations," court documents said.

Matthew Durrett, a prosecuting attorney at the 4th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney's Office, told Newsweek that the two men are facing the death penalty or life in prison without parole if they're convicted of capital murder. Durrett couldn't confirm the accuracy of the allegation that Phillips sexually abused the teenager, but said they believe it was the motive for the murder.