By Ken Miller
HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE, Ark. — The boyfriend of an Arkansas police dispatcher who was killed nearly two years ago was charged Monday with first-degree murder and an arrest warrant was issued for him, a prosecutor said.
Kevin Duck is accused of killing Dawna Natzke, a Hot Springs Village police dispatcher who was last seen leaving a holiday party with Duck around 11 p.m. on Dec. 21, 2011. Volunteer searchers found her body on New Year's Eve in a remote area of the Ouachita National Forest, about 5 miles from where her burned-out station wagon had been found days earlier.
Duck was not in custody Monday and was believed to be somewhere in Louisiana, said Garland County Prosecutor Steve Oliver.
Duck's cellphone number has been disconnected and calls to his family rang unanswered. Oliver said he does not know if Duck has an attorney.
Natzke, 46, had worked at the police station 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.
Duck told detectives in 2011 that the couple returned to Natzke's home after the holiday party and that she was gone when he awoke the next morning.
The cause of her death has not been released, but 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 then.
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.
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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.