Husband reacts to wife's murder, friend's arrest - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Husband reacts to wife's murder, friend's arrest

By Dal Cannady - bio | email

HINESVILLE, GA (WTOC) - Sgt. Nathon Arrowood sat restlessly in his home, just down the hall from where investigators think his wife Lori Arrowood was murdered. Lori's friends alerted him in Iraq last Sunday of her disappearance. He initially hoped against hope it was all some practical joke. That hope dissolved when he heard the voice of his battalion's Family Readiness Group's spouse leader.

"When I heard it from her, my heart sank," he said in a voice choked with emotion. "I feared I'd never see my wife again. You know, you get that gut feeling about things and I had it."

Before the Army could rush him home last week, investigators had found Lori's body miles from the Arrowood home. They'd also charged a family friend, Kenneth Lumpkin, with Lori's murder. Nathon said Lumpkin was his prime suspect from the start.

"I knew who it was and it was terrifying. She was trusting. Nobody ever suspected him to do that. I mean truthfully, I never liked the guy," he stated.

Arrowood said he had not voice his distrust of Lumpkin because he'd been a friend of the family before Nathon and Lori met 18 months ago. The couple would have celebrated their first wedding anniversary October 23.

Throughout the two day search, Lumpkin maintained a presence with the family and the volunteers, spending time at the house with them. Arrowood said he also reached out to him as he tried to get home.

"At first I thought the message was from his wife, but he said 'Hey, Nathon, this is Kenny' and I got chills. I got that cold chill run down my spine. He told me he was doing everything he could to help find her," he described.

Saturday evening, friends helped him and Lori's daughters gather items for Lori's funeral and helped get those possessions from a house that now haunts them all. Nathon and his stepdaughters said they can't get out of the house fast enough. Though they don't have all the details, they know whatever happened to Lori, happened inside.

"If we redid every wall if we redid the whole house, I'd walk down that hall and see blood stains on the wall," he added.

As they figure out their future, he's summoning the strength to lead his blended family the way Lori would have wanted.

I'm blessed to have spent a year and a half with her. I really am. I'll never be the same because of it. I'll be a better man. I'll honor her memory for the rest of my life.

A funeral service for Lori Arrowood is scheduled for Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Gum Branch Baptist Church on Highway 196. The couple met over a mutual love for horse back riding. Family and friends are encouraged to wear blue jeans and a white T-shirt. Nathon said it will pay tribute to Lori's casual style and favorite riding attire.

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