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Landowners search for teacher’s body

Sherry Arnold, 43, has been missing since Jan. 7.

WILLISTON, N.D. - Authorities renewed calls yesterday for landowners near the northern North Dakota-Montana border to look for signs of a missing Montana teacher’s buried body, while documents revealed one of the two suspects in her disappearance has spent time in prison.

At a news conference yesterday, authorities asked that landowners help look for the body of 43-year-old Sherry Arnold, a math teacher from Sidney who has been missing since Jan. 7 and is presumed dead.

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“The landowners know their land and their property,’’ said Williston Police Chief Jim Lokken. “If they see anything that has been disturbed, we want them to check it out.’’

Authorities said little of the two men believed to be involved in Arnold’s disappearance: Lester Vann Waters Jr., 47, and Michael Keith Spell, 22, both of Parachute, Colo. Waters was arrested in Williston and Spell in Rapid City, S.D. The two are being held on aggravated kidnapping charges pending extradition to Montana.

Prison records in Florida show Waters has a criminal history in that state and has served prison time. Records show he has felony convictions for driving without a valid license and leaving the scene of an injury crash. He also served time for a weapons offense.

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