Investigator Glenn Wheeler with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office said the search of the Buffalo River for 65-year-old Rick Norber has ended after searchers located his body today. Efforts had continued to locate Norber throughout recent days since he went missing on April 26th.
A jet boat owned by the Hasty Volunteer Fire Department began working upstream from Pruitt this morning with one member of the Hasty Fire Department and an employee of the National Park Service on board, while National Park Service employees began working downstream from Kyles’s Landing in paddle crafts.
At approximately 10:48 A.M. the searchers in the Hasty Fire Department boat notified authorities they had located Norber. Norber was approximately four miles from where he was last seen.
Norber went missing on the morning of Wednesday, April 26th when his party was trapped by flood waters in an area known as “Hell’s Half Acre” above Kyles Landing.
Inv. Wheeler said “This is an unfortunate ending, but at least it brings a bit of closure for the family and all the searchers who have poured so much into the effort to find Rick. It still amazes me how the volunteer spirit comes out in our community. We simply couldn’t do this without our volunteers and the other agencies we work with.”
Sheriff Keith Slape echoed Wheeler’s sentiments in a statement “I’m relieved that we were finally able to locate Mr. Norber. Thanks to all the searchers and agencies involved, his family can now begin the process of making arrangements. It lifts the veil of uncertainty that goes with having a loved one that can’t be located.”
The Newton County Sheriff’s Office had been joined throughout the search by the National Park Service, Harrison Fire Department, Newton County OEM, Tri-County Search and Rescue, Mennonite Disaster Services, Christian Aid Ministries, The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and their dive team, Arkansas Forestry Commission, Mt. Sherman Volunteer Fire Department, Hasty Volunteer Fire Department, Personnel from Lost Valley Canoe Rental, The Arkansas Canoe Club, Carroll County OEM, K-9 units from around the state and the American Red Cross.