Community Reacts To News Of Infant’s Death

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YELL COUNTY (KFSM) - News spread quickly when the bodies of Brian and Harper Floyd were located, many in the area were specifically saddened by the loss of a child.

5NEWS spoke to the infant's family, who say Harper was a “sweet beautiful baby boy”

Some in the community say Harper’s age makes this loss that much harder to deal with.

“Tragic. Absolutely tragic. I`m kind of at a loss for words,” JJ Kerksick said.

Many say they hoped for the best, but were prepared for the worst.

“I think its human nature to think the worst is going to happen. So, I feel for that mother,” said Alison Washkowiak, a mother of three.

Arkansans across the state were specifically rattled by Harper Floyd going missing at 10-months-old.

“It is always heartbreaking when a child is missing,” Washkowiak said. “To me, that would be a very difficult thing to handle, if my child was missing.”

A Facebook page was created called “Team Harper,” obtaining more than 4,000 likes.

The group's mission was to support the efforts to bring Harper home.

Then came the news that he had died.

“It is brutal. It is tough to lose someone in the community like that,” Kerksick said.

Some in the community couldn`t even imagine a child experiencing their last moments.

“It makes you wonder what kind of danger that child was in,” Washkowiak said. “And, what were those last few days of that child? How did he have to spend those last few days?”

“That`s absolutely awful, to lose someone that young. [Harper] never even had a chance at life, it is tough to hear,” Kerksick said.

After Brian and Harper's bodies were found in the Ouachita Mountains, some say there are few things anyone can do to help the family cope with such a tragic loss.

“If you have faith, turn to your faith,” Washkowiak said. “Lots of prayers. She`ll need lots of prayers and support from her loved ones.”

Hundreds of online commenters on the Facebook page left kind words for the family.

The page was taken down about an hour after the news of the death of the father and son.



  • Coleman and Leah Teague

    The world deserves to know that Brian was a loving, caring, and generous individual; regardless of how the media or this situation has represented him. Brian loved his children and our children as well. He taught our son to catch crawdads, worried about boys chasing after our daughter, and helped us through many tough situations in our lives. We love and miss Brian and the way he inspired us to be true to ourselves and live free.

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