Today’s Crime Sunday story has been heavy on my mind ever since I heard about it. This case did not get a ton of media attention so the timeline was a little difficult for me to put together as there was little information online but I was able to put most of the pieces together so I can share Cassie’s story with you today. I hope you guys had a great weekend and have a safe happy week ahead of you!
Content warning – This post contains sexual child abuse, adult minor relationships, pedophilia, and is not appropriate for all ages. Be advised.
Cassie Kay Compton has been missing from Stuttgart, Arkansas since September 14th, 2014, she was just fifteen years old. Before we get into the days that lead up to her disappearance, I want to take you back to the late 1990s before Cassie was even born because things happen within her family that are an important part of her story.
Sometime in the late 90s, a single Mom by the name of Judy Kimsey met a man by the name of Roy Compton and fell in love with him. Even though Roy had a few red flags, like being recently divorced from his first wife and a criminal history, Judy decided to marry him anyways, and together they created a blended family. Judy had at least three children at this point two sons and a daughter and Roy had one son, that is what I could confirm from what I found online.
Unfortunately, the blissfulness would not last long. In 1998 Roy Compton was charged with sexual assault against Judy’s daughter who was under the age of sixteen when the abuse was going on. Although Judy claimed to have no knowledge of the abuse, she was charged with permitting child abuse. Roy was sentenced to twenty-three years in prison but I believe he only served five years and two of those years were on probation and he had to register as a sex offender. Roy did remarry in 2012 but he has not changed his criminal ways. He has been charged with multiple DWIs, forced entry, domestic assault, etc.
As for Judy, she took a plea deal to avoid jail time. She was required to register as a sex offender, obtain a GED within two years, and complete psychological counseling sessions during her probation period. The victim, Judy’s daughter, was placed into the care of DHS and was later adopted by another family in Oklahoma. She did maintain a relationship with her daughter and her sons who also lived away from her.
Cassie was Born..
In the middle of this painful time for the Compton family, there was another child to think about because Judy was pregnant with Roy’s daughter. On December 4th, 1998, Cassie Compton was born. Her birthday came just six months after her own father was charged with sexual assault against her older half-sister.
It is very easy to already have concern for Cassie and what her future might hold. She was born to two sex offenders, one was in prison and one is now a single Mom trying to support herself and her daughter on her disability checks. Her mom wasn’t allowed near schools, parks, daycares so we can only assume Judy wasn’t able to provide full parental support typical parents can.
When Cassie was around 11 years old, she created a Facebook account and posted often right up until her disappearance. Based on what she posted online, her pre-teen/early teen years were pretty normal given the circumstances she was born into. She seemed to make the most of what she had. She had a good amount of close friends, traveled to spend time with extended family, and was boy-crazy.
There were a few statuses that raised some concerns about the relationship Cassie had with her Mom. She posted in 2010 when she was just barely 11 years old that she and her mom were fighting about deodorant. Which made me wonder, if they can fight about something so silly, what else could they be fighting about? This was the first sign that there was some tension in this mother-daughter relationship.
A Fresh Start..
Eventually, Judy wanted a fresh start for her and Cassie so she decided to move. She had a friend who was a preacher at a small church in Stuttgart, Arkansas who suggested they move there. Stuttgart is a small town with a population of just under 9,000. It is actually the rice and duck hunting capital of the world. It is just your typical small southern town with a large farming community, a Wal-Mart, Sonic, and a church on just about every corner.
Judy could not afford a house on her since the only income she had was her disability check but she did qualify for government housing. She and Cassie lived in a small section 8 house in not the best neighborhood. It was reported that there were at least 15 sex offenders living in their neighborhood when Cassie went missing.
Cassie did not have a hard time fitting into Stuttgart and making friends but she did have a hard time with schoolwork. At just the age of 15-years-old, she left the public school system to pursue a GED. Since she wasn’t in school, she had a lot of free time. She was often seen walking around town to her friends’ houses’, to Walk-Mart, and a bus driver even said she would wait for her friends at the bus stop so she could hang out with them when they were done with school mostly every day.
While Cassie was trying to figure out her education and navigate through her teen years, her Mom, Judy, had other priorities. She started dating again. She met a man who was 17 years younger than her named Brandon Lee Rhodes. He offered her nothing but a truckload of red flags, which of course she ignored. He had no job, no driver’s license, and was in and out of jail. You would think given what happened to her first daughter, she would be pickier about who she let into her and Cassie’s life but she did the opposite. She let Brandon move into her home with her and Cassie then they got engaged quickly.
Cassie’s brother made a statement that made it clear that Cassie and Brandon did not get along. She confided in her brother telling him how she and Brandon would argue often and how she didn’t want to be around him. I think it was clear that Cassie was trying to be anywhere but home given how often people around Stuttgart saw her just walking around town. What was she trying to escape?
The Weekend Cassie was Last Seen..
The weekend of September 14th, 2014 Cassie had an eventful weekend planned. She attended a football game on Friday and went to a demolition derby Saturday night with one of her best friends, Hunter Snyder, and his family. She spent a lot of time with the Snyder family and seemed to be very close to Hunter’s Mom, Tracy. She would confide in Tracy about boys, her home life, and Tracy even described their home to be Cassie’s safe haven.
Cassie stayed over at Hunter’s house Saturday night and on Sunday he drove Cassie back home around 6:00 pm. When he stopped in front of her house to let her out of the vehicle, Cassie’s soon-to-be step dad was standing outside. Hunter watched Cassie walk up to her house and Hunter noticed that Brandon didn’t say one word to Cassie. This really stood out to me because you would think that if you are about to be a step-parent when that child comes home from being gone all weekend you would acknowledge her in some way, right? He could have at least said “Glad you made it home safely” or a simple “welcome back.” But no words were exchanged between them. That was a strong indication that they didn’t have a good relationship.
Cassie walks into her home, goes straight to her bedroom, changes her clothes, and yells from her room to her Mom that she is leaving again to go get cigarettes. She walks out the door and everyone assumes she left on foot as she walked everywhere. This caught me off guard because what 15-year-old is comfortable telling their Mom they are going to buy cigarettes? Judy claims that she was sick in bed when Cassie came home so she didn’t see her but heard her come in and leave shortly after. Judy says that Brandon also left in her vehicle to go get cigarettes as well and was gone for 1-2 hours. When he returned home, he went straight to the bathroom and was vomiting for over an hour. What made him so sick out of nowhere?
Cassie would never be seen or heard from again.
Brandon called the Snyder family three times that night. His first call was to see if Cassie was still at their house which is odd because Hunter saw Brandon outside when he dropped Cassie off so he knew that Cassie wasn’t at their house anymore. He called two more times to see if Cassie showed up there because she never returned home and Hunter’s Mom told him to go to the police. Brandon claimed that he did go to the police station to report Cassie missing but he said they told him he had to wait at least 72 hours. There was no paperwork and nobody could confirm that he actually went to the police station that night.
The next day, Judy realized Cassie still wasn’t home. She went into her bedroom and realized she left without her purse, her EpiPen, and her phone charger. This raised concern for Judy so she started reaching out to Cassie’s friends to see if they had heard from her or knew where she was but nobody knew anything. When Hunter’s mom heard that she was still missing she called the police station to see if anyone had reported her missing, nobody had so she was actually the person to report Cassie missing.
When the Stuttgart Police Department received the missing person’s report, they treated Cassie as a runaway because Cassie had ran away from home 2 or 3 times before, another indication that Cassie didn’t have a good home life. In the past, Cassie always returned home but when she didn’t come home about four days later, the police changed the way they were handling her case. They started searching Cassie’s home, seized Brandon and Judy’s cell phones, and searched Judy’s car. They searched the airport, a cemetery, and local dumpsites. They searched railroad tracks that were close to Cassie’s home based on a theory that her remains were transported there, possibly by Brandon. Unfortunately, nothing led Police to Cassie.
Judy started to do interviews with local news stations to get the word out about her missing daughter. Brandon was also involved in the interviews and he acted very oddly. He would try to control the conversation by interrupting Judy and would say very cliché things like “She was gone like a whisper in the wind.”
Judy seemed very annoyed with him in the interviews as she would give him dirty looks and say things like “you aren’t helping and can you let me finish?”
Judy and Brandon were given lie detector tests by investigators and they both failed. Judy says she failed hers because of the pain medicine she was on and there was never a statement made by anyone on Brandon’s test. The police actually didn’t share that information, it was shared by Judy herself to a private investigator working on Cassie’s case.
Just two weeks after Cassie disappeared, Judy ended her relationship with Brandon and he moved out of the house. When asked why Judy ended the relationship she said she felt like if Cassie knew Brandon was out of the picture, she would feel safe to come home. Major red flag for Judy and Brandon. Why are you engaged to a man you know your daughter doesn’t feel safe around? Maybe Cassie did run away again and the thought of Cassie never returning was enough for Judy to try and create a better life for Cassie.
Many leads have come in over the years and the Stuttgart police department has confirmed that nobody has been ruled out as a suspect in this case. There was a lead that stood out to me. It came right from where Cassie’s cell phone was last pinged in Casscoe, Arkansas which is about 20 minutes from Stuttgart. A man who was setting up dear stands for hunting season found a cowgirl boot on his family’s land. He called the police immediately as he was familiar with Cassie’s disappearance and they just asked him to send a picture of the boot to the investigator on the case. That investigator forwarded the photo to Judy and she just said it wasn’t her boot. The police never searched the area and didn’t get the boot into evidence right away. The Chief of police say they have the boot and plan on doing DNA testing but there hasn’t been an update since 2019.
On October 17th, Cassie’s brother’s girlfriend posted this status on Facebook.
To this day we can’t confirm what her secret was or who Kimberly told this secret to but it makes you wonder what Cassie was dealing with at such a young age.
Judy’s Facebook is filled with photos of Cassie begging her to return home. She has remarried and has been removed from the sex offender registry which the community had mixed feelings about and I agree. The reason she was placed on the registry is for failing to protect one of her children and 15 years later she has another child go missing? That didn’t sit right with me. Since Judy was now allowed at public parks, the first thing Judy did when she was removed from the sex offender registry was go to parks to post Cassie’s missing flyer posters.
The last time the public heard from Judy was when a TikTok video went viral of a girl who looked a lot like Cassie and at first Judy thought it was her. When she was interviewed about the video she said her first thought was “my baby looks beat up and strung out. It was shocking for me to see.” Unfortunately, the girl in the video was not Cassie. Her oldest daughter moved into that small section 8 house after Judy moved in with her new husband just in case Cassie came home. Judy and the rest of Cassie’s family remain hopeful that one day Cassie will return home.
Since his relationship ended with Judy, Brandon has been homeless and in and out of jail. His most recent charges are more serious. He was charged with conspiracy to commit murder, stalking, and gang-related charges. He was sentenced to ten years in prison. In 2019, a news reporter covering Cassie’s case reached out to Brandon for an interview and he responded that he would like to speak with her about the case and give Judy the closure she deserves. That sounds like almost a confession to me but when they went into the jail to interview Brandon it seemed like he was more interested in getting legal assistance for his current charges rather than talking about Cassie. The news reporter asked Brandon about Cassie’s boots she was last seen wearing because some people said they were pink and gray and some say they were blue and gray and he responded “Why did you find a boot?” Not a pair of boots but one boot. How did Brandon know only one boot would be found? Judy claims the boot found by the deer hunter was not Cassie’s but this statement makes me think otherwise.
A part of me thinks Brandon had something to do with Cassie’s disappearance but there is another person of interest I haven’t brought up yet.
The older “friend”
Cassie very last Facebook post was the following:
When I first read that post I just thought there were rumors about Cassie and Dustin and she was trying to clear the air but the more I looked into his profile the more I thought he might know more than what he is telling people.
On August 5th, 2014 he posted this status and confirmed that he was interested in pursuing a relationship with Cassie. Dustin was 19 years old when Cassie was just 15, he had no business dating a 15-year-old. If he and Cassie were involved anyway sexually he would have been charged with at least statutory rape in Arkansas. It is possible that Dustin asked Cassie to make that status because someone was threatening to turn him in to the police about his relationship with Cassie.
The day after Cassie was last seen he even confirmed he was in Stuttgart.
I continued to scroll through Dustin’s Facebook and he really puts all of his business on Facebook for the world to see so it was easy to get an idea of what kind of person he is. He has been in and out of jail, has had many failed relationships, and has trouble controlling his anger.
I also found it strange that even though he posted often on Facebook, he never once posted about Cassie’s disappearance when he was close to her at some point. He never shared her missing person flyer or asked his friends and family to keep their eyes open for his friend. He would however get very angry when anyone tried to ask him about Cassie. Below is one of his many responses to someone asking about Cassie and please read with caution as he gets very vulgar towards the end.
His friends and family are always quick to come to his defense anytime Cassie is brought up as well, especially his mother. She even tried to say that Dustin was locked up when Cassie went missing but given the times he posted on Facebook, that was simply not true. Dustin seems to be very close with his Mom and made a heartfelt post about her and how she is always there for him and has even helped him run from the police… Mother of the year.
Dustin has claimed he has been cleared as a suspect which is another lie as Stuttgart Police Chief made it clear that nobody has been ruled out as a suspect.
How can you help?
I want to remind everyone that anyone I talk about in this case is innocent until proven guilty.
Tina Storz, a private investigator with Halo Investigations, has been working on Cassie’s case and has even worked close with Judy. She last reported that they were looking into a possible sex trafficking situation that could lead them to Cassie. If you are interested in helping with Cassie’s case, the best way is to share photos of Cassie on social media, share this story, or donate to Halo Investigation. Click here to get started.
Cassie was 15 years old and was last seen wearing a blue spaghetti-strap top, black and white plaid shorts, and blue or pink and gray cowboy boots. She was 5’3″ and weighed approximately 100 pounds. Her hair was dyed strawberry blonde, and she has blue eyes. She has a sideways heart-shaped birthmark on her upper left arm and a scar on the left side of her face. Her ears are pierced. If you know anything that could lead the Stuttgart Police Department to find out where she is or what happened to her please call them at 870-673-1414.
I know people disappear every day but this was a 15-year-old girl who the police and media failed. I mean, I live just three hours from where Cassie went missing and I didn’t hear about her case until last year. It makes me think that just because Cassie came from a poor family and had a history of running away in the past, her case went cold fast but yet there are so many signs to look into people that are closest to her. I know I probably came off as harsh towards Cassie’s Mom in this post but talking about the victim’s family can be a tricky thing when it is so obvious to me that her mom failed her in many ways.
I really appreciate you spending your Sunday with me and reading Cassie’s story. Ever since I heard about her story, I knew I wanted more people to hear it. I feel like she disappeared right in front of everyone’s eyes, someone has to know something. I hope Cassie is found safe and alive and we have answers soon.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this case in the comments below!