Search for Palmer and Hughes in its 19th day

Search for Palmer and Hughes in its 19th day


The search on the Mississippi River for 16-year-old Gunner Palmer and 21-year-old Zeb Hughes is now well into its 19th day.

Personnel with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and agents from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks continue to search an area of approximately 65 miles long from just north of LeTourneau landing south to Natchez.

Palmer, Hughes and Hughes’ black lab, Kye, disappeared Dec. 3 scouting for good duck hunting spots near Davis Island. The search for them began that night after family and friends raised the alarm.

(photo courtesy Mercy Search and Rescue)

Monday, a group put together by Mercy Search and Rescue used a spud barge as a platform to send sonar imaging equipment deep into the river. The barge and the towboat pushing it were provided by Vicksburg based Big River Shipbuilders.

Tuesday, a plane owned by a Madison Parish Reserve Deputy joined the search efforts with Madison Parish Chief Deputy Chad Ezell on board. Additionally, volunteers from the United Cajun Navy launched boats and planes from Vidalia, Louisiana.

Pace said the effort is being coordinated through his office, and everyone involved funnels all their information to him and MDWFP.

The sheriff added that search and recovery efforts will continue through the holidays including Christmas Day. Chief Deputy Billy Heggins and Deputy Johnny Beauchamp have volunteered to work through the holiday along with the sheriff to help bring closure to Palmer and Hughes’ families and friends.