The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said on Sunday they discovered the body of Arkansas County Northern District Judge Jeremiah Bueker, 48, after his family conducted their own unsuccessful search and called 911.
The sheriff’s office said Bueker’s death is being investigated as an accidental drowning but they are sending his body to the state’s medical examiner for an autopsy.
“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,” Sheriff Lafayette Woods, Jr. said in a statement.
“The scour of emotions they must feel right now is devastating,” he added.
Bueker was vacationing with family and friends over the weekend near Mud Lake and at some point ventured off alone, authorities said. His family and friends noticed he was missing and soon began a search before calling authorities.
Officials from local and state agencies conducted a ground and water search that began just before midnight on Saturday evening, and the search was later temporarily suspended due to low visibility.
Soon after the search resumed just after sunrise on Sunday, sonar technology revealed Bueker’s body at the bottom of the lake.
“The boats used were equipped with side-scan sonar, which provides a birds-eye view of the water,” Woods said.