MONTGOMERY COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE
Monday, July 22, 2019
Explanation of technology being utilized during the search.
Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is utilizing the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual Drone with FLIR MSX Thermal imaging to search shorelines and lake surfaces.
Benton County Search and Rescue Team is utilizing the Marine Sonic Technology Arc Tow Fish Sonar tow behind system utilizing side-scan system providing real time video of underwater search area. Arkansas Game and Fish Commission continues to operate the system while Benton County Search and Rescue Team take necessary breaks.
Pope County OEM coordinator provided the Video Ray Pro 4 ROV with high def camera, blue view sonar system with multi beam sonar providing live view of underwater search area. This system is being operated by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
At approximately 2:00 p.m. this date, recovery operations were scaled back in the search at Lake Ouachita in the Mountain Harbor area for missing Grant County Deputy Keith Wright. Operations will continue on a daily basis on a smaller scale by available personnel. Operations will be reinstated on a larger scale if additional information on his location becomes available.
Montgomery County Sheriff David E. White and Grant County Sheriff Ray Vance wish to extend their appreciation to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and all assisting agencies, officers and volunteers for their tireless efforts to locate Deputy Wright. Special thanks to Ricky and Debbie Lee with Subway, Bill Barnes and the entire Mountain Harbor Resort staff and Ocean Extreme for the immeasurable support provided throughout the operations.
Any additional developments in the search will be provided as they occur.
The missing man on Lake Ouachita has been identified as Grand County Deputy Keith Wright. Deputy Wright was a Pine Bluff Police Officer and a Pulaski County Deputy before being hired as a grant county deputy. He has been a SWAT officer and filled many roles in his law enforcement career. he also taught diving lessons in his off time.
Today many agencies have come from all over the state to help with the search. These agencies include the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Grant County Sheriff's Office, Pulaski County Sheriff's Office, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, U.S. Army Corp of engineers, Mt. Ida-Southfork VFD, Joplin VFD, Carrol County SAR, Johnson County SAR, and the Arkansas State Police. Mountain Harbor Resort has helped and devoted several resources to the search. Several boats with SONAR and other equipment have been used in the search. Helicopters and Drones have also been used. Grant County Sheriff Ray Vance and Sheriff David White would like to thank everyone for assisting in the search.
On Friday, July 19, 2019 at approximately 9:49 pm., the Montgomery County Sheriffs Office received a call from an individual who stated that he was boating with a friend. He and the friend dove off of their party barge near a cove just North of Mountain Harbor Resort. When they came up, the boat was drifting North away from the two men. Both men began to swim towards the boat. It was during this time that the caller lost contact with the friend. The caller then swam to a shoreline and started hollering for help. Eventually, a boat came and rescued him and at that time he called the Montgomery County Sheriffs Office to report the incident.
The Montgomery County Sheriffs Office, the Arkansas Game and Fish, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Rangers, the Joplin VFD, and the Mt. Ida-South Fork VFD responded to the call. Several boats went to the area and searched the area, but the other individual was not located. The boat was found at the back of a cove with the engine still running with the gear shift in neutral. It is suspected that the wind blew the boat away from the two men.
Search and Rescue operations are going to continue throughout the day if necessary. Sheriff White would like to thank all the agencies and Mountain Harbor Resort for assisting in the search.
Montgomery County Sheriff David White was contacted on April 30th 2019 by the Garland County Sheriff's Office regarding a body found in the back of a vehicle.
The driver of the vehicle and the victim are both residents of Montgomery County. Garland County Sheriff's Office requested Sheriff White to check the residence of the driver to see if it was a potential crime scene. Upon arrival, it was determined the residence was a crime scene.
The Arkansas State Police were requested to work the crime scene. The driver is currently being held at the Garland County Sheriffs department. Foul play is suspected and further information will be available upon further investigation.