Helena-West Helena, AR – A father and son fishing trip along the Mississippi River ended after the pair spot a dead body floating on the water. Commercial fisherman Robert Randleas said the trip along the river started out like any other, but ended in a “sickening” manner that he won’t soon forget.
Robert Randleas and his son were approximately one mile south of the Helena-West Helena bridge when they started setting out nets. The boy pointed to the water to call his dad’s attention to what the child thought was a floating deer.
When Randleas and the boy got closer to the spot in the water, the fisherman discovered the floating mass was not a deer, but a man. The angler called 911 and a host of emergency responded to the scene quickly. The body recovered from the Mississippi River was that of a white male.
The body was estimated to belong a man in his 40s or 50s. Robert Randleas stated that the man had on tennis shoes and socks, but was not wearing any other articles of clothing when found.
The identity of the body found floating on the Mississippi River remains unknown. Randleas also noted that the body appeared to have been in the water for quite a while. The father and son anglers made their discovery outside of the main river channel and in a current.
The avid fisherman also told local news media that he had helped retrieve the bodies of friends who had gone missing before. Randleas said happening across the tragic unexpected sight, while out with his son, was an entirely different experience.
The body was transported to the Helena Regional Medical Center and was scheduled to be transported to the Arkansas State Crime lab. Phillips County Sheriff Neal Byrd said lab technicians will then begin trying to identify the body.
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