BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) – The body of a local missing man was found Thursday (Sept. 4) after authorities responded to a call about a possible drowning on the Illinois River near Siloam Springs, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.
The search for Frank Vinson, 40, began Wednesday night and was later suspended because of darkness. Dive teams continued to search Thursday and found the man’s body at 5:34 p.m.
Alcohol was likely a factor in the man’s death, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Authorities said they are waiting on toxicology results to determine if narcotics played a part in Vinson’s drowning. No foul play is suspected.
Authorities received a call Wednesday night around 6 p.m. from an eyewitness stating Vinson had vanished while swimming off of Chamber Springs Road east of Siloam Springs, according to a statement released by the Sheriff’s Office.
The body that was found in the water was west of a boat ramp near Chambers Springs Road in the area where authorities were searching for Vinson, authorities said. Vinson’s family and the county coroner were also at the site.
Vinson and his girlfriend had been in the river for several hours swimming and jumping off of an abandoned bridge located in the area, the statement states. The abandoned bridge is a popular swimming location, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Keshia Guyll with the Sheriff’s Office said the incident is the first drowning in Benton County this year involving alcohol. The water, at its deepest point, is about 20 feet deep.
Vinson’s out-of-state family has also been notified of his death. His mother lives in Mississippi, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The man’s family told 5NEWS they consider the abandoned bridge “Frank’s bridge”, and he was an avid outdoorsman who liked to hike, fish and swim. He was born and raised in Siloam Springs and is survived by a girlfriend, two sons and two daughters, his family said.