On June 25, 2024, the Izard County Sheriff’s Office dispatch received a call, near Melbourne, where it was reported that a juvenile, under the age of 14, had been raped. The juvenile victim was interviewed and evidence collected. Deputies were given the name of the suspect, Ezekiel Kipfer. Within hours, deputies were able to locate Kipfer at a residence near Oxford. During an interview with deputies, Kipfer admitted, in detail, having engaged in sexual activities with the juvenile. The Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division and the Child Advocacy Center of Independence County worked this case with the Sheriff’s Office.

As a result of the investigation, on June 27th Ezekial Kipfer, age 29 of Melbourne, was formerly charged in the Izard County Circuit Court with two counts of rape, each a class y felony, and sexual assault in the second degree, a class b felony. Kipfer’s bond was set at $250,000. He is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.