Body Discovered In Wilderness Identified As Missing Former Police Sergeant

Holly Matkin

Retired Pea Ridge Police Sergeant Cerilla Doyle vanished on Oct. 28, 2008.

Mason City, IA – The body of a just-retired Arkansas police sergeant who disappeared in 2008 has been discovered in a wooded area in Iowa, police confirmed on Tuesday.

Former Pea Ridge Police Sergeant Cerilla Doyle was 51 years old when she vanished on Oct. 28, 2008, KFSM reported.

She retired shortly before her disappearance.

Her daughter, Danielle Doyle, said she last spoke with her mother the morning before her disappearance, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.

When Danielle returned to their Bentonville home that day, she found her mother’s two vehicles parked behind the residence.

She did not take her cell phone, identification, or any other personal belongings with her, KFSM reported.

Sgt. Doyle had also left behind a power of attorney document, a title to one of the vehicles, and a check written to her daughter in the amount of $27,067, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.

According to investigators, Sgt. Doyle withdrew $1000 at an ATM on the day she disappeared.

Information contained on her computer showed she had searched bus routes to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and she was last seen on Oct. 28, 2008, buying a bus ticket in Rogers, KFSM reported.

According to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, former Pea Ridge Police Chief Tim Ledbetter said Sgt. Doyle purchased the bus ticket under the name of Deedra Corey, but investigators were unable to confirm whether the sergeant ever boarded the bus.

According to Danielle, Sgt. Doyle’s ex-boyfriend, Charles Thomas, said that Sgt. Doyle had told him that if she ever committed suicide, she would kill herself in a remote area in the woods so her body wouldn’t be discovered for a long time, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.

"The investigation determined that Doyle had left the area voluntarily and no contact has been made with her since she went missing," the Bentonville Police Department told KHBS.

In April, Danielle filed paperwork with the Benton County Circuit Court, and asked the court to declare her mother as deceased, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

On May 20, the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office located human remains in the remote Iowa woods, KIMT reported.

Danielle said she was notified on Monday that the body was her mother’s, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Investigators used dental records and DNA to make the positive identification, Danielle said.

“Honestly, I was hoping they would find her alive,” Danielle told the news outlet. “They said they found the bones, and it looked like she had been there about five to 10 years.”

The cause of St. Doyle’s death remains under investigation.

Sgt. Doyle served the Pea Ridge Police Department for 13 years prior to her retirement in 2008, the department said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

“The Pea Ridge Police Department would like to take the time to recognize Cerilla Doyle,” the department’s post read. “We have learned of her passing and we want to take the time to express our sincere condolences to Doyle's family and friends.”

“Doyle will always have a special place in the hearts of everyone here at PRPD and the City of Pea Ridge,” the agency said.

“I’m deeply saddened at the outcome, but glad for the family that they finally have resolve to this situation,” Chief Ledbetter told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

“Cerilla was a great asset to our department,” he said. “She was the second hire I made after becoming chief. I could always count on her to perform her duties and be as fair and just with the public as possible.”

Comments (4)
No. 1-4

Rest in peace, Officer Doyle. May your daughter find comfort and peace as she goes on with her life.


So sad. Sounds like her life was good. But also she sounds like she suffered from That silent killer......Depression no one knows what a person goes through that smile (fake) and the struggle from day to day no one knows. My prayers are with her family. There should be more awareness about depression and mental illness it sure sounds like she suffered from this demonic illness just because a person tell you their alright....their not pay attention to them they have up good days and then boom those thoughts of whatever plague them are back. They need to have runs like they do for cancer survivors raise money to help people that suffer in silence that no one knows that would help at least those who like this lady suffered


She WAS AN AMAZING WOMAN. Rest easy Aunt Cerilla. Forever in our hearts.


A life dedicated to serving her community yet the inner person suffered with something we'll never know, Rest in peace. Thoughts and prayers for her famiy