SEBASTIAN COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA) — A Mansfield woman was charged on Tuesday with first-degree murder in the death of her mother, according to a press release from Sebastian County prosecuting attorney Daniel Shue.
Jordana Caraway Rogers, 32, was initially arrested in Nacogdoches County, Texas on an aggravated assault charge.
On December 23, 2019, Nacogdoches County deputies contacted authorities in Arkansas to advise that they had arrested Rogers on the assault charge and that statements she made to police about her mother made them concerned for her welfare.
The Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Mansfield police, who, along with a relative of the victim, went to conduct a welfare check at the mother’s home.
When police received no answer at the residence, the relative kicked the door in, allowing the officer to make entry.
The responding officer discovered the body of the 57-year-old victim, Melinda Rogers, deceased and covered with blankets on the floor of the master bedroom, according to the arrest warrant.
She was reportedly lying on her right side, and her head was bruised and covered in blood.
Officers obtained a search warrant for the home, which was searched later that day, December 23.
During the investigation, police located a drill battery at the victim’s feet, and a rechargable power drill was discovered in a locked closet in the master bedroom, “covered in what appeared to be hair and blood.”
Neighbors told police they hadn’t seen the victim for several days and that her car had vanished from the driveway.
The defendant was apprehended in Texas driving her mother’s vehicle. A family member advised that she might’ve been trying to meet up with her father in California after the murder.