'I shot her five times:' Man calls 911 to admit murder before he's found dead in river

Published: Aug. 13, 2018 at 1:55 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 13, 2018 at 6:01 PM CDT
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HELENA-WEST HELENA, AR (WMC) - Two people were found dead inside a car in the Mississippi River on Sunday morning, according to Helena-West Helena Police Department.

Police were able to recover the vehicle from the river, near the Delta Cultural Center.

Police identified the couple as 38-year-old Connell Henry and 20-year-old Cherrkisha Jones, who was pregnant.

Investigators said Henry admitted to killing Henry during a 911 call to police after her death.

"I shot her five times," Henry said during the 911 call to police. "I think four or five times. Yeah, it's for real though."

Henry told 911 dispatch that he killed Jones because she was "playing games" and may have cheated on him.

Phillips County Sheriff's Department is now leading the investigation.

"This is something that has really traumatized this community," Phillips County Sheriff Neal Byrd said. "Never would we have expected for anything like this to happen."

The car was discovered several hours after police were called to the river.

Byrd said bullet fragments were found in the car. He believes both Jones and Henry died from gunshot wounds.

"Didn't know if he had any issues or anything. I can't really say anything, but he was just a person that was of good character," Byrd said.

Jones' cousin said she was a sweet person and said Henry posted on Facebook that he was going to commit the murder.

More than half of all the calls Helena-West Helena Police Department gets are domestic violence-related. The family center there aims to help those and any victims suffering abuse.

"My heart dropped and my mouth opened and I said, 'not again,'" Grace Gonner said of hearing the news.

Gonner is the executive director of Family Center in Helena-West Helena.

"What could we as a community have done to help both of these people? Because two families have lost someone," Gonner said.

It's something Helena-West Helena Police Chief James Smith knows all too well.

"No matter what your nationality is, what your racial background or religious background or anything of such, it affects everyone," Smith said.

Those kinds of situations are the worst case scenario for Gonner and her center.

"We want to be able to prevent that death because it affects us all. It affects the entire community," Gonner said.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.