[Mysteriousheartland.com] In early October 2015, Maranda Goldman was a gregarious, fun-loving 23 year old resident of the east-central Arkansas city of Pine Bluff. On October 8, she mysteriously vanished. Thirty-two days later, a hiker found her decomposing body in the woods on the east side of town.
Did unknown assailants kidnap and murder the young woman to keep her quiet?
That is what Sandy Goldman, her mother, implied in several statements to the Huffington Post. “[Maranda] had been in with a bad group of people,” she said. “They thought she had turned as a snitch, so she was really scared for her life.” Who was this group, and what had she witnessed them doing?
“I don’t know if that had anything to do with what happened to her, but she didn’t just end up in a field for no reason,” Goldman later told the Huffington Post.
In 2009, Pine Bluff was ranked by Morgan Quitno Press as the most dangerous metropolitan area in the US and included on the Forbes list of America’s ten most impoverished cities. As of the 2000 census, the city was 75.6 percent African American and 22 percent Caucasian. Since 2014, the crime rate has declined significantly. Over 20 percent of families and 37 percent of children live below the poverty line.
Around 4:30 pm, Maranda Goldman left the Goodwill after purchasing a belt and a pair of pants and headed for her car. She told her family the interview went well, but later, Goodwill employees claimed the interview never happened.
Concerned family members found Maranda’s car in the Goodwill parking lot. After several days without hearing from her daughter, Sandy Goldman knew something was wrong. “It’s been over four days, going on five, I’ve never went one day without Maranda contacting me,” she told KTHV. “No matter what kind of trouble or anything that she was in, good, bad or ugly, she always contacted me.”
On November 10, police received an anonymous tip that a body had been discovered in a wooded area northeast of the intersection of 38th and Ohio streets. At around 8:30am, police found the decomposed body of a Caucasian female in the woods. The crime scene is approximately 2.4 miles from the Goodwill parking lot.
Because of decomposition, the body could not be immediately identified and had to be sent to the to the state crime lab for positive identification. Police told KTHV there was no obvious indication of how she died. Results of the autopsy are still pending.
Funeral services for Maranda Goldman were held Monday, November 16, 2015, at Fuller Hale-South Funeral Chapel in Pine Bluff. Interment was in Cypress Memorial Gardens.
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