HARRISON, Ark. (AP) — The body of a man who, along with his wife, was swept away by a flash flood in late November has been recovered in northern Arkansas, a sheriff said.
John Villines' body was found Monday along Crooked Creek after a resident notified authorities he had spotted what appeared to be human remains in a debris pile, said Boone County Sheriff Mike Moore.
"There was enough exposed to cause this gentleman some concern," he said.
The state Crime Laboratory used dental records to identify the body Tuesday, Moore said.
"You hate to find someone deceased, but you want to help the family get closure," he said. "It's a tough ordeal."
John and Amy Villines disappeared during a flash flood Nov. 30 in Harrison. Their sports utility vehicle was found with one shattered window near a bridge over a creek that feeds into Lake Harrison.
Authorities believe the two escaped the vehicle but were carried downstream. Harrison officials drained Lake Harrison in December, but the couple wasn't found. Articles of John Villines' clothing and his wallet were found in the area.
John Villines was found about 20 miles (32 kilometers) downstream from the lake.
"Unbelievable," Moore said. "We searched even past there just for the possibility, but we didn't expect them to be that far."
Authorities are still searching for Amy Villines, and the discovery of her husband's remains has reinvigorated the search, which was recently scaled back, Moore said.
"We've got people in kayaks, we've got people walking," he said. "The state police has people out using drones."