Greenwood police confirmed the body of Stephen Whitson, 62, was found Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 2) in Lake Jack Nolen in Greenwood.
Greenwood Police Chief Will Dawson said the body was found close to the boat ramp.
Whitson’s truck and boat trailer were found backed into the water at a boat ramp around 7:55 p.m. The empty boat was found about 100 yards off shore in the water.
“His shirt was found on the front seat and some change,” Dawson said. “That may show that he lost control of the boat and tried to get to it as it floated away.”
Officers do not believe the Whitson ever made it to his boat.
“The seats were folded and snapped shut,” Dawson said.
Dawson said the Whitson’s family reported him missing when he didn’t return from the fishing trip.
“It’s going to be really tough living without Steve,” said his brother Kim Whitson. “You have to know what a good man Steve was. He was a veteran for the 188th Air National Guard, retired. He was a full-time air technician there and veteran of multiple engagements over seas. He’s just a wonderful man, he’d do anything for anybody anytime and had a great heart.”
Officers with the Greenwood Fire Dept., Greenwood Police Dept., Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office and Crawford County Sheriff’s Office were using boats and sonar equipment to search for Whitson in the water and the area surrounding the lake.
“We brought in a helicopter also to get the view from above,” Dawson said. “A lot of times they can see pretty good down into the water from that height and they can certainly check the shallow areas and also the little wooded area that we were unable to get into.”
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