The body found at the bottom of a lake turned out to be that of a missing judge. The remains of the Arkansas judge were pulled from a lake over the weekend after he wandered off alone during an outing with family and disappeared.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said in a release that while catching up on some family time in Jefferson County, Jeremiah T. Bueker, 48, the Arkansas County Northern District Judge, strayed away from the group and was last seen near Mud Lake.
The family called 911 when the judge did not return. On Sunday, several search and rescue groups showed up to look for him, including sheriff’s deputies, the sheriff’s office marine patrol, and the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission.
Rescue efforts dispatched boats to perform extensive water and land searches. On Sunday, due to low visibility, the searches ceased. However, they continued in the morning.
A body at the bottom of Mud Lake was detected at 9:16 a.m. on Sunday by boats equipped with side-scan sonar that gives a “birds-eye view of the water.”
“Deputies utilized subsurface body recovery drag/rescue hooks to recover Bueker’s body. Upon recovery of the body, deputies and investigators with the assistance of family positively identified the body as that of Bueker,” the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities said the death was under investigation as an accidental drowning. The judge’s remains will be sent to the State Medical Examiner.
“I truly pray that the successful recovery of Judge Bueker’s body by our deputies and Arkansas Game & Fish Wildlife Officers brings some sense of closure to the Bueker Family and those who knew him best,” remarked Jefferson County Sheriff Lafayette Woods.
“The scour of emotions they must feel right now is devastating,” he added.