Sherry Arnold abduction suspect has extensive criminal record, court docs show

Sherry Arnold

(CBS/Reuters) SIDNEY, Mont. - One of the two men charged in connection with abducting a Montana teacher who is presumed dead has a lengthy criminal record.

Details from the extensive criminal record of Lester Vann Waters, 47, came to light as FBI agents and police in Montana and North Dakota continued their search for possible sites where the remains of missing teacher Sherry Arnold may have been buried.

Legal records show Waters was previously convicted in Florida of nearly a dozen crimes, including burglary and drug offenses, and served time in that state's prison system.

Waters' legal records from Florida, where he lived for at least 22 years, showed he was arrested in the state many times from 1986 to 2008 and was convicted for dealing cocaine, burglary, and a hit-and-run accident.

Waters was arrested Thursday night following an anonymous tip to an investigation hotline.

A second man, Michael Keith Spell, 22, was detained for questioning on Friday, the same day it was publicly announced Arnold was presumed dead.

Over the weekend both men were charged with aggravated kidnapping.

Arnold, a 43-year-old high school math teacher, disappeared Jan. 7 after leaving her home for a morning run along a truck route on the outskirts of Sidney, in northeast Montana. She was later reported missing by her husband. The only clue to her disappearance in the days that followed was a shoe recovered during an initial search.

Police have asked rural landowners in nearby areas to check for possible burial sites.