The search for missing Walnut Ridge girl, Sidney Randall, is now entering it’s eighth week. Sidney Randall, age 14, was reported missing by her mother Denise Cornell on March 9th, 2013. Sidney’s stepfather, John Cornell,was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head on a field road outside of Walnut Ridge near his red Ford Ranger pick up less than 24 hours after Sidney’s disappearance.
Members of John Cornell’s family reached out to Imboden Live to tell their side of this heartbreaking story, to thank local authorities for their efforts in the search for Sidney, and to urge the public to keep looking for the missing 14-year-old girl.
April 28th, 2013- Imboden Live spoke with Lea Cornell, the sister of John Cornell. Lea Cornell ,who is visiting from her home in Australia, is currently in Arkansas for the past 3 weeks with her father, Bill Cornell to help in the search for Sidney Randall and to comfort her grieving family.
Lea stated that she last spoke with her brother John in November of 2012. She described their
relationship as very close and that they were like twins.
She believes that something suspicious happened to her brother John and that he did not commit suicide as has been reported.
She stated that she also doesn’t believe the initial coroner’s report of the gunshot being self-inflicted
knowing her brother as she does and that John gave no indication that anything was wrong.
Lea Cornell also wanted the public to know that there has been no proof of the accusations of alleged sexual abuse and that her brother was not that type of man. She would like to clear her brother’s name.
She describes her family as being heartbroken over these accusations,the death of her brother, and
Sidney’s disappearance. She was close to the missing girl and Lea described her relationship with Sidney of late night phone conversations discussing clothes and makeup.
Lea Cornell believes wholeheartedly that Sidney is alive, that she is not in the Walnut Ridge area, and their family want nothing more than for her to be found.
Lea and Bill Cornell have plans to travel to Missouri this week to distribute new updated flyers of Sidney Randall in hopes that someone will come forward with clues about where Sidney may be located.
When Imboden Live asked about the reasons behind traveling into Missouri to search for Sidney, Lea Cornell described a conversation involving Ben Randall, Sidney’s brother in the days following Sidney’s disappearance (March 16th) that was made public on Facebook in which Ben Randall stated to a third-party that he received a phone call from a friend that Sidney was in St. Louis and that he was headed there. He also stated in that same Facebook conversation that “she wanted to go,she was 100 percent willing”.
That Facebook conversation was posted as a video showing the entire text/dates/etc.. back and forth from Ben Randall. Ben Randall expressed his displeasure in comments at this video being made public. It has since been removed from Facebook. Imboden Live obtained copies of this series of private messages and this was a documented conversation that took place on March 16th.
The family of John Cornell also communicated to us a distrust of statements that have been made by Denise Cornell in regards to John’s character and how hurtful the rumors of the alleged sexual abuse have been to the family. They questioned why none of these accusations had come into light until after Sidney went missing and are steadfast in declaring John Cornell a good father figure to Sidney who only looked out for her wellbeing and “thought the world of her”.
Lea expressed her desire for the family to work with each other to not only clear John’s name but to come together to find Sidney and bring her home.
Lea Cornell wants the public to know that her brother was not an alleged sex offender, that they are very worried about Sidney, they love her, and that they want her found safely.
Imboden Live also spoke at length with Bill Cornell, John’s father and we asked him the question,” That as a family member where would he point searchers in hopes of finding Sidney?” Mr. Cornell said that he strongly believes that Sidney may be in a small town outside of St. Louis on US Hwy. 67 or the interstate 55 area south of St. Louis possibly staying with relatives.
In speaking with Mr. Bill Cornell he talked about how John was his firstborn son and that they had a
strong bond with each other.
He spoke of the week prior to his son’s death as being very normal and repeatedly stated that his wish is to clear his son’s name and to help aid in finding Sidney.
Imboden Live would like to thank Lea and Bill Cornell in speaking with us and telling our reader’s another side of this ongoing tragic story.
We urge people to keep looking for Sidney Randall and to report any information they may have to local authorities.
Sidney Nicole Randall Age 14 and/or DOB: 7/15/1998 Missing Date: 3/9/2013 Missing Time: 10:00 pm Missing from City: Walnut Ridge, AR Missing from County: Lawrence Sex: Female Race: White Height: 5’04″ Weight: 85 lbs Hair: brown hair/long Eyes: green Sidney has braces.
Anyone with any information in this case should contact the Walnut Ridge Police Department at 870-886-3568
or the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office at 870-886-2525