LANGLEY, Ark. — Like they had time and again, Leslie and Adam Jez packed their camper and headed for Arkansas’ Albert Pike Recreation Area. But instead of leaving Friday, they and their 3-year-old met up with family a day earlier — a decision that proved fatal.
Flash floods pushed a torrent of water through their campsite on the edge of the Ouachita National Forest before dawn, killing at least 19 people including Leslie and her mother, Sherry Wade. Adam survived, but authorities haven’t said whether their child, Kaden, was among the victims.
State police said one person is still missing, and search teams plan to resume their work Monday morning.
The twentieth victim was found yesterday, a little girl.
The grim recovery of bodies after flash flooding tore through a western Arkansas campground was nearing its end Tuesday, as officials awaited DNA tests to confirm that a young girl killed by the rising waters was the final victim.
Rescue crews planned a limited search Tuesday of the Albert Pike Recreation Area, where a wall of water came rushing through early Friday after a heavy storm, killing 20 people.
Arkansas State Police say they’re confident the girl whose body was recovered Monday was the last to have been killed by the floodwaters. They said they believe many others first feared missing were camping in other parts of the state, without cell phone coverage.
“We did have some names of individuals whose families did come to us with direct evidence or information of persons present in the park and we believe we have identified all of those individuals in one way or the other,” Arkansas State Police Spokesman Bill Sadler said.
Although Arkansas Gov. Beebe expressed his sympathy to the families who lost family members in the flood, President Obama has yet to comment. He was too busy playing golf this past Sunday.