A judge from Arkansas was found dead in a lake, and his death is being treated as an accident, according to investigators.
On Saturday evening, Judge Jeremiah T. Bueker vanished, and on Sunday morning, his body was found.
His corpse was discovered in Mud Lake in Reydell, which is located outside of Little Rock, according to a statement released by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
Maj. Gary McClain stated that after taking Bueker out for a spin in a recreational vehicle, Bueker never returned. It was reported by McClain that he was spending the weekend in a cabin with his family.
“It appears he decided to go swimming after maybe being dusty, and he went missing,” he told reporters. “No one was with him, he was alone.”
The sheriff’s department reported that on Sunday morning, personnel used sonar to find Bueker’s corpse at the bottom of the lake.
Judge’s body found at bottom of Arkansas lake after he vanished during family vacation: Search crews found the body of an Arkansas judge who went missing during a family lake trip, investigators say. Judge Jeremiah T. Bueker, 48, “ventured off alone” at… https://t.co/LrBVcuFngM pic.twitter.com/mXfzYvhMOF
— STIJLVOL RADIO (@StijlvolRadio) August 8, 2022
Bueker served as the county district judge for Arkansas County’s northern division.
“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,” Sheriff Lafayette Woods, Jr. said in a remark.
“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,” the statement said.
The statement went on to say that Bueker had been spotted last near Mud Lake, which empties into the Arkansas River north of Achorn Drive in Reydell. After a fruitless search that lasted well until nightfall, Bueker’s family finally dialed 911 for assistance. MECA called for the assistance of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department at around midnight. As soon as they arrived, the marine patrol from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the wildlife police from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission dove into a thorough land and sea search. The search for Bueker included the use of boats to help narrow down the possible locations he may have been hiding in. Ground and water searches continued until the early morning when they were called off owing to fog.
The statement continued by saying that search efforts for Bueker were resumed by deputies and wildlife officers as soon as daylight came and that the whole area surrounding Mud Lake was searched. Around 9:16 a.m., the side-scan sonar located a body on the lake floor. The sheriff’s office used drag/rescue hooks to bring Bueker’s body to the surface. Deputies and detectives found the body, and with the help of family members, they were able to positively identify the body as Bueker’s.
Bueker was pronounced dead at the scene when the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office was called. Investigators believe Bueker drowned accidentally, but they will send his body to the State Medical Examiner to be sure.
Meanwhile, Stuttgart Mayor Norma Strabala expressed “shock and heartbreak” over Bueker’s untimely passing.
Strabala posted on Facebook that Jeremy “was an important and valuable person in this community,” noting his roles as a wonderful friend, fierce attorney, and Arkansas County Northern District Court Judge for nearly a decade. “I am praying for Sunny, his family, and this community as we mourn this tragic loss.”