HIKERS FIND BODY NEAR HEMMED-IN-HOLLOW
By: Investigator Glenn Wheeler
Newton County Sheriff's Office
Investigator Glenn Wheeler with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office says their office received a call early Sunday afternoon that two hikers had possibly found a body in the area above Hemmed-in-Hollow Falls.
The Newton County Sheriff’s Office notified the National Park Service and Deputies and Rangers, along with the Newton County Coroner’s Office responded to the scene for an initial investigation.
Upon arrival authorities found Marvin Alexander Lopez, aged 27 of Rogers, Arkansas, deceased. There were no obvious signs of significant trauma and the cause of death was not immediately apparent. A car belonging to Mr. Lopez was located at the Compton Trailhead for Hemmed-in-Hollow.
After speaking with the Rogers Police Department, it was discovered that a family member had contacted them on February 21st to report that Mr. Lopez had not been heard from since February 19th and the agency had issued a bulletin asking area agencies to look for Lopez and check his welfare.
Sheriff Keith Slape said, “at this point there is nothing to indicate foul play, but Mr. Lopez’s body has been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. The investigation is ongoing and we won’t know much more until we get the Medical Examiner’s report. Our hearts go out to Mr. Lopez’s family and we hope to be able to provide them with answers soon.””
Investigator Wheeler stated “we are working this case jointly with the National Park Service and hope to have more information once we hear back from the Crime Lab.” Wheeler went on to say that Lopez was located in a rugged part of the area near Hemmed-in-Hollow and the recovery was a huge joint effort by several agencies that took several hours. “We simply could not have safely gotten him out without the help of a lot of folks that we can always depend on to help out when we need them. They are invaluable to us.” Tri-County Search and Rescue, Newton County Search and Rescue, Buffalo National River Search and Rescue and area volunteer fire departments assisted with the recovery of Lopez’s body.
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