An Oregon man is behind bars in connection to his alleged involvement in the 2004 killing of Rebekah Christian Gould.

William Alama Miller, 44, is currently behind bars in the Lane County Jail in Eugene, Oregon, awaiting extradition to Arkansas.

Miller is charged with first-degree murder in connection to Gould’s death. Authorities said her body was discovered 16 years ago on a hillside off Highway 9, just south of Melbourne.

The 44-year-old murder suspect was arrested Saturday by a special agent with the Arkansas State Police after authorities learned he’d returned home “following an extended stay in the Philippines.”

Gould was reported missing by family in September 2004 a few days before her body was found off Highway 9. The 22-year-old woman’s body was recovered on Sept. 27, 2004, following a community-based search in Melbourne and across Izard County.

After the woman’s body was recovered, Izard County law enforcement requested ASP take over the investigation. The ASP was asked “while the search was underway” to take over the Gould investigation.

Police said Miller lived in Texas when he visited Izard County and reportedly killed Gould.

“Special agents of the Criminal Investigation Division have devoted hundreds of hours to the case which was never classified as a cold case,” ASP officials said in a news release on Monday.

ASP Director Col. Bill Bryant said this case was never considered a cold case and that investigators have worked diligently to find Gould’s killer.

“The special agents assigned to this case never abandoned any hope of finding the necessary evidence and facts to lead them to a suspect and an arrest,” he said. “This case is a testament to the Criminal Investigation Division and the devotion the special agents assigned to the division possess in helping police and sheriff’s departments across Arkansas with their toughest cases.”

Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached at mhicks@thecabin.net.

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