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— By YOUSSEF RDDAD

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Authorities in central Arkansas said they discovered the body of a person inside a car driven by a registered sex offender during a Tuesday morning traffic stop that saw the driver flee from law enforcement before his arrest.

The Garland County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy stopped an unlicensed Cadillac around 3:30 a.m. along Arkansas 7 in Hot Springs.

The driver apparently took off and crashed through a gate at Hamilton Pointe Condominiums before authorities found him on top of a building.

Police said they talked 58-year-old Keith Ashlock of Pine Ridge down from the building before arresting him.

While searching the car, authorities said they discovered the body of a male inside.

The state Crime Lab is investigating who the person was and how he died.

Officials said Ashlock was charged with fleeing from police and obstructing a police operation, both misdemeanors.

Ashlock is listed as a level-three sex offender after being found guilty of assaulting a child younger than 14, according to the state registry.

Details about the conviction aren’t listed on the online database.

Level-three offenders are the second highest tier in Arkansas on a one through four scale.

Offenders in that category typically have a history of repeated sexual offenses or predatory traits, which requires notification for communities they live in.

The sheriff’s office is still investigating and said additional charges are forthcoming.

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