Murdered jogger Sydney Sutherland's mom says 'evil killer' should get death penalty as she pays tribute to 'best friend'
THE devastated mother of 24-year-old jogger Sydney Sutherland – who was raped and murdered in Arkansas – says her alleged "evil killer" should be sentenced to death.
Maggy Sutherland has broken her silence in a heartbreaking interview with The Sun, paying tribute to her "best friend" as their traumatized family continues to grieve.
Farmer Quake Lewellyn initially admitted to police he mowed down the nurse with his truck, drove her to a nearby field, then raped her on the tailgate of his vehicle, according to an affidavit released on October 16.
He then told cops he used a shovel to dig a hole and buried Sydney's body, police records obtained by KATV show.
The 28-year-old has since denied the claims and has pleaded not guilty to capital murder, kidnapping, rape and abuse of a corpse – but Sydney's mom Maggy believes he committed the heinous crimes.
She has branded Lewellyn an "evil monster" and thinks he deserves the death sentence if convicted after a trial next year.
Sydney, who went missing while jogging near the Grubbs and Newport area of Jackson County, was last seen off Highway 18.
Her body was found on Friday, August 21 – three days after she vanished.
Speaking about her daughter's tragic death, her mom Maggy, 55, told The Sun: "It always comes back to, Why wasn’t I there? Why was I not with her? Why did this happen?
"Everyone is still in shock, it just does not seem real. It's like we are living a nightmare, not just the family but also the community.
"Sydney was the family’s rock. She planned all the family events down to every last detail.
"We all called her Sassy because it's the best way to describe our Sydney.
"She was a very beautiful, caring and loving person.
"She brought light to everyone who came in contact with her.
"As a family, we are living day to day and trying to get through this tragedy. We are grieving the best way we know how.
"There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t think of her and miss her pretty smile.
"It's still pretty hard on me, we were best friends."
Asked what she would say to Sydney's alleged killer, she replied through tears: "Why did you take my daughter? Why her?
"And he will probably never look me straight in the eye and tell me what he did, or what her last words were or anything.
"I don't know what he got out of that because he took a beautiful life, a young woman who had a bright future.
"He was very cruel to do what he did and the way that he did it.
"To me, he deserves the death penalty, he is a monster, an evil monster. She did not deserve any of that.
"I still go to where it was at, I've walked it, I've done every step she's taken, to try and see what happened. He will never tell the truth."
Talking about the day she went missing on Wednesday, August 19, Maggy said the entire family, including Sydney and her boyfriend Alex Nicholson, had just returned from a vacation in Destin, Florida.
"We'd had a great trip, and she loved the beach. Everything was just right that day," Maggy said.
"She came over, we talked a little bit, and she went and got my mail and she came back.
"She said, 'I'm going to go home, I'm going to bake some brownies or cookies.'
"She was leaving and I said, 'I love you, I'll talk to you later'. She said, 'I love you too'. And that was the last I heard from her.
Maggy said she realized her daughter was missing at 5pm when she received a call from her worried boyfriend and immediately drove over to her house after alerting other family members.
"Her boyfriend Alex called me, he said, 'Have you seen or heard from Sydney?' I was like, 'No, what's going on?'" she said.
"He said, 'Well, she's not home. I can't find her. Her car is here. Her keys are here. The last time I talked to her she was going to do a run'.
"I was probably there within 15 minutes and had already called her brothers and her dad.
"I just threw my hands up like, 'We've been everywhere down that road she ran and there was no sign, nothing'. I said, 'Something's wrong'. And that's when the tragedy began.
"I panicked, I just thought … has someone gone through here, drug-related, and snatched her up?
"People kept saying, 'Would she get in a car?' And I was like, 'No, she would not'."
Maggy contacted the Jackson County Sheriff's office and phoned AT&T to try and track Sydney's phone and Apple Watch, as people started to gather at the house and help with the search.
"She did not do this run [as a] routine," she said. "She was a nurse. She had different shifts all the time. It was never every day and at no certain time.
"We searched all night long, by the next day we had several different departments, state police, FBI, and I would say nearly 300 people volunteering.
"We did not get sleep for days, we did not get sleep until they found her."
Police gathered Sydney's family, including her father, 55-year-old Dion, and brothers Tyler, 34, and Sam, 29 to deliver the devastating news around 3.30pm on the Friday after her body was discovered.
"We were very traumatized by this, she was the light of our lives," Maggy said.
"But we stuck together as a very close family, and we stayed together in the days afterwards."
Sydney's mom, who works as a receptionist at a local dental office, described her daughter as a "caring young woman" who had been working as a registered nurse at Harris Unity Medical Center in Newport for two years.
Sydney had been dating boyfriend Alex for four years and Maggy says she could have seen them settling down.
She said she "absolutely adored" her nieces, Mila, four, and Leni, seven months, children to her brother Sam and his wife Summer.
"Sydney always wanted to spoil her nieces the way her family had always spoiled her, that’s where the strong sassiness came from.
"Both girls were her world."
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