As authorities continue investigating the May shooting death of a Conway teen and are nearing an arrest, police are seeking the public's help for information pertaining to the May 24 incident.
The Conway Police Department initially responded to a shooting and soon launched a homicide investigation after learning a local 18-year-old was shot to death in a vehicle along Donaghey Avenue near the intersection of Marilyn Drive, just north of the Tyler Street intersection, during the early morning hours.
Detectives continue following up on leads and believe they are narrowing in on those responsible for 18-year-old Jody Loring's shooting death.
"Basically, this is a word-of-mouth case. We need people to talk to us," Detective Brian Williams told the Log Cabin Democrat on Friday. "That's the main thing, we need people to talk to us [to gather] information from the public and people who were close to this investigation whether they were friends with the victim, whether they were friends of people they believe to be suspects. We are open to the public coming forward and helping us with any tips they may have."
Over the past 60 days, authorities say there have been "new and good developments" in this case.
CPD spokesman LaTresha Woodruff said that while the public has not received "play-by-play" updates regarding this investigation, there has been much work behind the scenes to identify those responsible for taking the life of a young, Conway teen.
Now that authorities are piecing this mystery together, Woodruff said police are looking to the public for additional details and information that could help lead to an arrest.
"Our detectives and our officers do an excellent job of investigating these cases, but the bottom line is they can't do it alone," she said. "We have to have people [come forward]. That's what helps them solve cases. And in this case, it's very pertinent that people come forward and talk to [detectives] about what they know or what they've heard even at this point."
This request does not exclude the public from walking police through a rumor they've overheard.
"Sometimes, you hear things and you think that's not important, but with all the pieces we have to the puzzle already, what someone has that they haven't told [authorities] could be very important," Woodruff said.
Loring was found shot to death inside an SUV along Donaghey Avenue around 1 a.m. May 24.
Faulkner County Coroner Jessica Thorn previously told the Log Cabin the victim suffered "multiple gunshot wounds."
At this point, about two dozen individuals have been questioned as CPD works to solve this murder, Williams said.
"We've interviewed close to 20-30 different people," he said. "These individuals may not have all the answers themselves, but there may be a small detail or fact that I'm piecing together with what someone else said and I'm able to develop another person to talk to as a witness or develop another person as a source or someone else to talk to as a suspect where they can help me substantiate word on the street or rumor. That's basically what started this case as far as the information we got from the public and we just need to complete that by generating new people to talk to."
Earlier this week, detectives obtained a search warrant to look through a potential suspect's phone records.
Authorities say this data could prove to be highly beneficial in solving Loring's shooting death.
"Obviously, with a case like this, people are going to be communicating with each other so there's going to be an effort to get people's phone records," Woodruff said.
Williams, who is an expert forensic examiner, said digital communications such as social networking, text messaging, cell phone tower information and call detail records often provide great detail of crimes.
According to officials, Loring was not the intended target of the May 24 shooting. The 18-year-old recently proposed to his fiancee and had just had a baby.
Williams said he remains in constant contact with Loring's family and will continue following up on rumors and other leads until those responsible for the teen's shooting death are held accountable for their actions.
As he continues following up on leads, Williams said he is confident he knows who the perpetrators in this case are, but also said he needs more information to follow through with an arrest.
"A lot of rumors in this case are factual ... [It's] all [originating] from the same source, and I know the source is one of the people involved," Williams told the LCD. "But, there's a difference in knowing who did it and proving who did it. And, we know. We're just asking for the public's help to complete the puzzle and be able to prove it and we can't do it without their help."
CPD encourages anyone with information regarding this case to call Detective Williams immediately at 501-450-6130.
"I will do everything in my power to protect their identity if they're willing to come forward with any information or evidence — names, phone numbers, pictures, social media, anything that they can bring me would be [beneficial]," Williams said.
Tips can also be submitted to CPD anonymously by texting CRIMES to (274-637) using the keyword "Conway" in the text.