On Halloween evening the Newton County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch received a call from a concerned mother in Batesville, Ark. about her daughter and daughter’s boyfriend. The teen couple had told her they were going hiking for the day but didn’t initially specify where. She believed they were going to be near Batesville, but later in the day received a text from her daughter saying they were heading to the Hawksbill Crag area of Newton County instead. The daughter ended the text with “…so if we die, that’s where we’ll be.”
After dark, the mother received another text from the daughter stating that they were lost and asking the mother to “please help!” Further attempts to get text messages through to the pair were unsuccessful as they returned as undeliverable. That’s when the mother called NCSO.
Deputies and a small number of Newton County Search and Rescue members, along with personnel from Compton, Ponca and Mt. Sherman Fire Departments responded to the area to try and assess the situation and make an initial search before calling out all Search and Rescue Resources.
Within an hour of personnel arriving on scene the teens were located and were in good health. Deputies led the teens back to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office where they were reunited with the parents.
“I’m glad the kids were safe and reunited with their families” said Newton County Sheriff Keith Slape, “but I bet their parents encourage them to reevaluate how they state things in their text messages.”