After nearly a week, search for missing hunters continues

Published 3:48 pm Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Authorities continued their search Wednesday for two men missing since Dec. 3 when they went duck hunting on the Mississippi River.

“We’re not doing anything landside today,” Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said. “We’re concentrating strictly on the water.”

Pace said agents with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office have multiple boats in the water and all are equipped with sonar.

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“We have been running grid patterns in the water with the side-scan sonar but still no results and we have not recovered any more items out of the boat,” he said. “We feel like we’ve probably recovered everything in the boat except for the two young men.

“I can’t say enough about Wildlife and Fisheries. They’ve been here every day with us and they’re on the water with us today.”

The search for Zeb Hughes, 21, from Wesson, and 16-year-old Gunner Palmer began Thursday evening after relatives reported they did not return from a duck hunting trip on the river. The pair put in at the LeTourneau Landing Thursday morning. 

The search has centered over a roughly six-mile area of the river, from just below the 420-mile marker to just about the 425-mile marker, and involved Warren County Sheriff’s deputies, MDWFP agents, first responders, Madison Parish, La., sheriff’s deputies, fixed-wing aircraft, drones and a helicopter.

Besides the water search, nearly 30 people conducted a ground search Monday. The group included members of the families and volunteers. Pace said the group was taken under escort into the area and suspended their search at about 2 p.m.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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