by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News August 8, 2022
Authorities in Jefferson County, Arkansas said they recovered the body of Arkansas County Northern District Judge Jeremiah T. Bueker on Sunday from the bottom of Mud Lake. He was 48.
The judge drowned in the lake during a weekend getaway with family and friends, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Bueker, who was elected as a district judge in 2012, was an “avid outdoorsman” and a “very proud father,” a Stuttgart city official told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Bueker’s death is being investigated as an accidental drowning, but his body is being sent to a state medical examiner for an autopsy, authorities said.
The judge had ventured off alone and “after time had passed and no one had seen or heard from Bueker, worry began to set in,” the sheriff’s office said.
Bueker was last seen near Mud Lake, which dumps into the Arkansas River just north of Reydell. The judge’s family then called 911 after they couldn’t find him on Saturday.
Jefferson County deputies launched extensive ground and water searches for Bueker that later were suspended due to low visibility. Mud Lake was then scoured just after sunrise Sunday and sonar detected the judge’s body at the bottom, authorities said.
“Deputies utilized subsurface body recovery drag/rescue hooks to recover Bueker’s body,” authorities said. “Upon recovery of the body, deputies and investigators with the assistance of family positively identified the body as that of Bueker.”
“His family had a weekend at a cabin on the family’s property,” said Maj. Gary McClain of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. “They were riding [utility vehicles] and returned back to the cabin. It appears he decided to go swimming after maybe being dusty and he went missing. No one was with him; he was alone.”
Relatives said Bueker loved to swim, so taking a spontaneous dip would not have been unusual for him, McClain added.
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