Sheriff: Bodies of missing father, son found

Posted: July 29, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.
Updated: July 29, 2014 at 5:22 p.m.

Authorities have located and recovered the bodies of Brian Floyd, 33, (left) and Harper Floyd, 10 months (right), who were reported missing Friday, July 25, 2014, in the Ouachita Mountains near Blue Mountain Lake in Yell County.


Authorities have found and recovered the bodies of a man and his 10-month-old son who went missing in the Ouachita Mountains south of Blue Mountain Lake in Yell County.

Sheriff Bill Gilkey said the bodies of Brian Floyd, 33, and his son, Harper, were found Tuesday afternoon.

Searchers had been scouring the remote area since Friday, when 21-year-old Brooke Floyd, the child's mother and Brian Floyd's wife, was found wandering along a road in the area.

Gilkey said Harper's body was found first around 1:30 p.m. by members of the U.S. Forest Service and Brian Floyd's body was found about an hour later. Both bodies were transported to the state Crime Laboratory in Little Rock for autopsies.

"It's not the outcome we certainly had hoped for and our prayers and thoughts go out to the families involved," Gilkey said.

The circumstances of why the family was in the area and how they became separated remain unclear and under investigation, Gilkey said. The bodies were found in rough, mountainous terrain roughly 700 to 800 meters north of where searchers found the family's truck off the road Monday, Gilkey said.

Brooke Floyd was arrested Sunday on accusations she hindered apprehension or prosecution and endangered the welfare of a minor. Gilkey defended that decision Tuesday, saying she came to the remote area with the child and at some point left him and the father.

"We felt as though she left the child in a very unbearable and possibly dangerous situation out here," he said, adding Brooke Floyd was of "very little help" until Monday.

"Yesterday, she did help and cooperate in the investigation," he said.

Brooke Floyd remained in custody Tuesday.

Gilkey said he would not speculate on whether foul play was involved and said he couldn't comment on whether the charges would be upgraded or if new ones would be added. He said the prosecutor will ultimately determine that.

Gilkey called the search process "very trying" and "very frustrating" for crews who had hoped to find the family members alive.

"You're trying to get out here and do the best job you can do and search everywhere you can possibly search. You want to bring a good result to the family. And then in the end of it, when it turns out like this it's emotional and difficult for everyone who's involved."


Search crews were working again Tuesday to find a father and his infant son who disappeared last week in the Ouachita Mountains near Blue Mountain Lake.

The search for Brian Floyd, 33, and his 10-month-old son, Harper, was continuing a day after authorities found the truck they were in off the road and blocked by trees.

Yell County authorities said the search Tuesday was centered on Forest Service Road 18 south of the lake.

The search for Floyd and the missing infant began after officials found Brooke Floyd, the child's mother, wandering a remote roadway in the area and saying the pair was stuck there after their truck broke down, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Tuesday.

Anyone with information is asked to call police or the sheriff's office at (479) 495-4881.

Sheriff speaks after bodies of father, son found

Sheriff Bill Gilkey speaks to reporters Tuesday after the bodies of a missing father and son were found in a remote area south of Blue Mountain Lake in Yell County. (By Gavin Lesnick)
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Arkansas State Police block the entrance Tuesday, July 29, 2014, to the area where authorities searched for Brian Floyd, 33, and his 10-month-old son,...

This map shows the area where authorities searched Tuesday, July 29, 2014, for Brian Floyd, 33, and his 10-month-old son, Harper, who disappeared last...