The body of Arkansas County Northern District Judge Jeremiah T. Bueker, 48 has been recovered.

Bueker, several family members and friends spent their weekend in Jefferson County, Arkansas as part of their recreational travel.  At some point during their outing, Bueker reportedly ventured off alone.  After time had passed and no one had seen or heard from Bueker, worry began to set in.  A search for Bueker by family and friends began.

Bueker was last seen near Mud Lake, which channels into the Arkansas River just north of Achorn Drive in Reydell, Arkansas.  Unable to immediately locate Bueker and well past sunset, Bueker’s Family called 9-1-1.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched by the Metropolitan Emergency Communications Association (MECA) just before midnight and immediately responded.  Upon arrival, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol, joined wildlife officers with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission began an extensive ground and water search.  Boats were deployed to aid in the search of Bueker.  The continued well into the early morning before both ground and water searches were suspended due to low visibility.

Just after sunrise, deputies and wildlife officers resumed their search for Bueker and scoured the depth and breadth of Mud Lake.

“The boats used were equipped with side-scan sonar, which provides a birds-eye view of the water, Sheriff Lafayette Woods, Jr. said.”

At approximately 9:16 a.m., the side-scan sonar revealed a body on the bottom of the lake.  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.

Sheriff Woods said, “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.  The scour of emotions they must feel right now is devastating.”

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office was notified and arrived at the scene a short time later, where Bueker was pronounced deceased.  Bueker’s death is being investigated as an accidental drowning; however, his body will be sent to the State Medical Examiner for an autopsy.