Missing juveniles found in good condition after going missing from the Cossatot Reefs on Gillham Lake


On July 31, 2013 at approximately 8:50 P.M. the Howard County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Cossatot Reefs on the Gillham Lake that two boys Joseph A. Clark 10 years of age from Ashdown and Preston Pierce 11 years of age from Queen City, Texas were missing.  The boys had been floating in the river below the Gillham Dam.  The river was higher than normal due to the Corps of Engineers releasing water from the lake.  The two young boys had on life jackets and were floating the area below the dam near where they were camping with their families.  The young boys had floated this same area several times but the last time they went farther down river and got caught in the strong current and they could not swim out onto the bank.  The young boys were carried down river for approximately 1 ½ miles and finally were able to get out onto the west bank of the river where they spent the night. 

Search teams and officers searched throughout the night and re-grouped around 7:00 A.M. the next morning and begin searching the area again.  On Friday morning August 1, 2013 around 9:00 A.M. the boys were located by the Howard County Search and Rescue Team.  The boys were taken down river to the Mize Crossing where they were checked by EMS and then reunited with their families.

There were many agencies and volunteers involved in the search and rescue of these two young boys with great cooperation from everyone. 

Those involved were:  Dierks Fire and Rescue, Dequeen Fire and Rescue, Gillham Fire Department, Hempstead County and Clark County Search Teams, Arkansas Game and Fish Officers, ASP Officers, ASP Helicopter, Sevier County Sheriff Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Grannis P.D., OES from Howard and Sevier County, ADEM, Howard County Search and Rescue, Corps of Engineers, Cossatot River State Park Officers, EMS from Sevier County and the Howard County Sheriff’s Office. 

The Sevier County Judge delivered food to the searcher’s that was donated by Subway and Pizza Hut in Dequeen.


Sheriff Butch Morris