(WMC-TV) – For the first time, Arkansas fisherman Robert Randleas shared his story of how he made the grim discovery of a body in his fishing spot.
The commercial fisherman told Action News 5 the day started out like many with him casting nets for fish. But today is a day he said he will not soon forget.
"It was sickening," Randleas said. "I called 911."
Randleas was out on the Mississippi River with his son about a mile and a half south of the bridge over the river that leads to Helena-West Helena.
"I was setting out nets," Randleas said. "My son said that's a deer daddy that's deer floating. I said that's not a deer. We eased up on it and found it was a body."
Randleas called 911. The Helena-West Helena Fire Department and other responders showed up and retrieved the body. Randleas said it is a white man who appeared to be in his 40's or 50's.
"He had tennis shoes and socks and no clothes," Randleas said of the body he discovered.
Sheriff Byrd said at this point investigators do not have an identity on the body.
"Right now the body is in the morgue at the Helena Regional Medical Center and it is going to the Arkansas State Crime lab," Phillips County Sheriff Neal Byrd said.
Randleas said it appeared to have been in the water for quite some time. He said the body was floating in a current.
"It was just a current," Randleas said. "It wasn't in the main channel of the river. It was a current."
Randleas said he has retrieved the bodies of friends who went missing but this was different.
"But like that just unexpected almost running over it," Randleas said. "It's just shocking. Pretty shocking."
The Phillips County Sheriff said the crime lab in Little Rock will start looking for clues to the identity of the body. That could include using DNA.
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