Body of an Arkansas judge is found at the bottom of a lake after he disappeared from a family trip

After dark, the judge’s family contacted 911 when they did not find his whereabouts – Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

The authorities disclosed that an Arkansas judge was found dead at the bottom of a lake this Sunday after disappearing on a weekend trip with family and friends.

The judge was identified as Jeremiah Bueker, 48, from the Northern District of Arkansas County and was on a “recreational trip” in Jefferson County with family and friends. Still, at some point, he “ventured out alone” and never returned, according to the Jefferson County sheriff.

Bueker’s death is being investigated as an accidental drowning, the office stated in a news release.

The judge was last seen alive in nearby Mud Lake, where he was later found without vital signs.

“After time passed and no one had seen or heard from Bueker, concern began,” the statement said. “A search for Bueker by family and friends has begun.”

After dark, the relatives still had not found the man, so they called the emergency service, the statement said. In the early morning, the sheriff’s office and wildlife officials from the Arkansan Game and Fish Commission began extensive land and water searches.

At some point, the search had to be temporarily suspended due to poor visibility, the sheriff said.

So on Sunday morning, the search was restarted when agents scoured the lake using boats with built-in side-scan sonar, allowing them to get “a bird’s-eye view of the water.” Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr. reported.

The judge’s family helped authorities identify the recovered body with that of Bueker, and the state medical examiner will perform an autopsy, the sheriff’s office said.

“I truly pray that the successful recovery of Judge Bueker’s body by our agents and Arkansas Fish and Game Wildlife Officers brings a sense of closure to the Bueker family and those who knew him best,” Woods said.

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According to April Davis, assistant coroner for Jefferson County, there was no sign of foul play. She noted that the corpse was intact with no signs of trauma.

According to Davis, the autopsy at the State Medical Examiner’s Office is standard procedure. She concluded that the judge’s body was taken to the office on Sunday, and the autopsy is expected to be done this week, pending a report that could take three to six months.