Authorities discover another body near Albert Pike Campground, bringing the number of dead to 19

    9:37 PM, Jun 13, 2010   |    comments
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    • Glenwood, AR

    Here are the latest details. The flash floods swept through the Albert Pike Campground early Friday morning. 16 of the 19 fatal victims have been identified; they range in age from 2 to 69. Six of the victims are young children. Police say searchers are looking for just one more person. They won't say though if it's an adult or a child.

    Since the flash flood Friday, it's been difficult to determine just how many people are missing. The Forest Service registry washed away and because families can also camp on their own there has never been a clear estimate. But Sunday they have determined at least one person is still missing.

    Day three brings another day of anxiety as search and rescue efforts continue.

    Michael Quesinberry is the Incident Commander for the Forest Service. He explains, "There's a lot of heavy equipment working down there today. The Arkansas State Police is removing some of those damaged vehicles. It's just going to take time."

    Sunday, a 19th body was found. No one's been rescued since Friday, but the missing count has dropped drastically from about 22 to one on Sunday. Police say it's a result of miscommunication between friends and families because there is little to no cell phone service.

    Mike Fletcher with State Police says, "We don't know how many people are missing. We may have someone call us tonight or tomorrow and say we have someone missing."

    Crews have searched about 50-miles of the river on either side two, three even four times. As long as there's one person missing, they will continue to search.

    Jeanette Barnes is the K-9 team leader for Saline County Search & Rescue. "Just the not knowing has got to be so hard on the families and I know loss is hard but not knowing where your loved one is has got to be the worst," she says.

    Barnes is one of about 10 K-9 units in the area. She and Sasha are covering the treacherous terrain where there are large sink holes and thick brush only her cadaver dog can get to. "The dogs work off lead so they can go out in what we call range and we can just kind of follow them in and they can go through areas we can't go through. We're dealing with a lot of debris, a lot of debris piles, brush and mountains, just hazardous terrain."

    Travis Branch works for the Murfreesboro Fire Department Dive Team. He adds, "This is our first day for the dive team to be up here. We had to let the water go down and slow down some. The rapids were so fast we couldn't really do much."

    The river is still very rough and cold, and debris makes it more challenging. 

    Branch continues, "We've just been going up and down the banks looking under the rock bluffs, looking under the trees, root balls, trying to catch all of it as we go."

    More than 100 search personnel are covering the area by water, land and air, all focused on finding that last missing camper.

    The same amount of volunteers and emergency personnel are expected Monday because everyone wants closure for the family. Officials with the Arkansas State Police say even when they do find that one individual they will continue to search.

    Fletcher did not disclose the latest victim's identity. Sixteen of the 19 people confirmed killed in the flood have been publicly identified.

    Most of the victims are from Texas and Louisiana. Right now one has been identified from Arkansas; she is 23 -year-old Leslie Jez from Foreman, near Texarkana.

    Funerals have been set for three of the flood victims. Services for 53-year-old Julie Freeman and her 7-year-old granddaughter Klylee Sullivan will be Tuesday at the Texarkana Funeral Home in Texas.

    Services for 7-year-old Gayble Moss will also take place Tuesday. She was visiting the campground with her family. Her funeral will be at 4:00 at the First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas.

    As more funeral information becomes available, Today's THV will bring that to you.

    Related THV links:
    Victims identified in Albert Pike flash flood

    Update: Flood survivors speak out

    Relatives wait for news of campground survivors

    Heat, debris piles slows down search for campground survivors

    Governor Beebe keeps citizens apprised of flash flood updates

    Lincoln to tour flood-devastated Arkansas campground

    Volunteers invaluable in search for flash flood victims in Montgomery County

    Forest Service: campers couldn't have been warned

    At least 16 dead in campground flooding in Montgomery County

    Call center set up to help find missing

    Various organizations helping with flood disaster relief

    Arkansas tragedy gains national attention

    One family survives flash flood in Montgomery County

    Forest service temporarily closes Albert Pike Campground

    Friday: Candlelight vigil planned for flood victims


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