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(870) 256-4137
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200 Court House Sq. #101
Des Arc, Arkansas 72040

Administrative Office Hours:
M-F 8:00am - 5:00pm

Body found, sent to state crime lab

The search for a missing child has been called off after a body was found in the White River at approximately 10 a.m. Sunday. Positive identification will have to come from the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock. This could take up to a week, or 10 days according to Prairie County Sheriff Rick Hickman.

According to Hickman, the call for the missing child came in at approximately 3 p.m. Sunday, May 13, which was Mother's Day weekend. The alleged drowning victim is a 9-year-old female of Des Arc. 

That search came to an end Sunday morning, after the department and many volunteers recovered a body they believe to be the victim. 

Cadaver dogs were added to search party, according to Hickman. Sheriff James Prince, of Bowie County Sheriff's Department in Texas, came to assist in the search along with his trained K-9 companions.  

The Prairie County Sheriff's Office along with the Arkansas Game and Fish, Arkansas State Police, Conway Fire and Rescue, Arkansas National Guard -- providing helicopter assistance -- Johnson County Rescue Team and many other local volunteers had been on the river from daylight until dark assisting in the search of the missing child. 

Officers or volunteers have been on the river each day since the incident was reported. The only time officers or volunteers have not been searching, according to Hickman, is at night. The search was never scaled back, according to the sheriff.  

"The Arkansas State Police is investigating this an accidental drowning," he explained. 

The only times the search had been called off was when storms threatened the area. Volunteers were asked to leave for safety reasons as law officials stayed on scene. The searches each day were lasting up to 12 to 14 hours -- the most possible. 

"Thank you all for (your) help, we deeply appreciate all of your hard work and support," Hickman says to the volunteers, other law enforcement agencies and search and rescue teams that have been played a major role in the search. 

"As we continue to work we ask the public to keep the family in their prayers," the sheriff said. 

For more information contact the Prairie County Sheriff's Office at (870) 256-4137.


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