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For Martin Pace and his deputies, Christmas is just another day to search



Warren County search and rescue boat (photo by David Day)

For more than three weeks, Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace’s days and nights have centered around the search for Gunner Palmer and Zeb Hughes, two young hunters who disappeared Dec. 3.

Earlier this week, Pace said that in his 40-plus years in law enforcement, he has never had a boating accident case draw this much attention. He has had calls from all over the country offering assistance and opinions on how to locate the missing hunters. Meanwhile, the normal calls for service have continued to pour into his office.

Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer served under Pace for 13 years before his current job.

“He won’t give up until he resolves this or there is no possibility of recovery,” Elfer said.

“My Christmas plans are to be on the river,” Pace said Tuesday.

And on Christmas Day, that is where he is, along with Chief Deputy Billy Joe Heggins and Deputy Johnny Beauchamp, both of whom have been just as committed to bringing closure to the families and friends of Palmer and Hughes.

Please keep Sheriff Pace and the valiant deputies in your thoughts and prayers today as you enjoy Christmas with your family.

Pace has been joined in the search efforts by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, the Madison Parish Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement and firefighting agencies along with a wide array of volunteer groups from around the south.

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