Little Rock, Ark., Killing May Be Random

Cops say there was no relationship between the suspect and the anchorwoman.

ByABC News
October 24, 2008, 8:44 AM

Nov. 27, 2008 — -- Curtis Lavell Vance, the man arrested and charged yesterday with the capital murder of Little Rock, Ark., anchorwoman Anne Pressly, did not know the victim prior to allegedly beating her to death last month, police said today.

"There wasn't any relationship between Vance and Pressly," Lt. Terry Hastings, the public information officer for the Little Rock Police Department, told

"It's likely that he just saw her and attacked her," said Hastings.

Hastings said police don't know why Vance, with no obvious motive and no violent past, targeted Pressly. Vance's criminal record shows prior traffic violations, speeding tickets and a DUI, said Hastings.

"It appears to be a random accident," he said. "Vance was not stalking [Pressly]."

Vance, 28, of Marianna, Ark., was cooperative when he was arrested at his home Wednesday after a civilian called in an anonymous tip, according to authorities.

Vance is being held without bail. It was not immediately known if he has legal counsel. Because of the holiday weekend, Hastings was unsure when Vance's arraignment would be scheduled.

Hastings would not confirm or deny whether Vance had confessed to the murder.

Vance lived in eastern Arkansas, but had numerous contacts in central Arkansas, Police Chief Stuart Thomas said. He named Vance as the suspect earlier Wednesday night and said Vance was traveling with a woman, three kids, a pistol and "lots of extra ammunition."

The three children, according to Hastings, were the biological chidlren of Vance's girlfriend and were unharmed upon his arrest.

Pressly's father, Guy Cannady, told ABC News his "prayers had been answered" when he heard the news of the arrest.

Within an hour of the news conference's end, officers were at a home south of downtown. Vance apparently was not armed when arrested, Hastings said early Thursday.

Pressly, 26, was attacked in her Little Rock, Ark., home on Oct. 24 and suffered blunt force trauma to her head and upper body that doctors say broke nearly every bone in her face. Her left hand was also broken, leading her father to tell "Good Morning America" that he suspects she fought her attacker.

She survived for five days after the beating, but doctors kept her heavily sedated because of the seriousness of her injuries, and detectives were unable to question her about her attack.

Until Wednesday, police had spoken little about the investigation, but early on they said they were treating the incident as "random," though the family and some forensic experts have said it seemed likely she was a victim of a stalker.

Pressly was one of the hosts of "Daybreak," a morning show at ABC News Little Rock affiliate KATV. She also had a small part in Oliver Stone's film "W."

Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent and ABC News contributor, said on "GMA" that the attack had many of the signs typically seen in crimes related to stalking.

"Someone who is struck multiple times tends to lend itself to someone who had an obsession with her or knew her, because it's personal versus someone who was going to steal," Garrett told "GMA."

"Stalking or bothering people is a fairly common thing for people who have daily exposure to the public on television. It tees the ball up for that type of personality that wants to create some fantasy world."

ABC News' Beth Tribolet and Reynolds Holding contributed to this report. The Associated Press contributed to this report.