Nine and a half weeks ago, the first call was heard on law enforcement radio about two young men, Gunner Palmer and Zeb Hughes, who went missing on the Mississippi River.
Around 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace was hopeful they had experienced problems and his deputies and Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries and Parks agents would locate them.
By morning, Pace reported that they had been unsuccessful and remarked that “he had a bad feeling about this one.”
Pace has been quite successful in making recoveries and giving families some form of closure in these types of incidents over the years. However, this scenario troubled the veteran deeply.
As the weeks passed, searchers continued to scour the river in hopes of bringing closure to the families. Volunteers and organizations such as Brandi Brignac with Mercy Search and Rescue and Mark Michaud with Southern Louisiana Underwater Search and Recovery, along with Terrell Bergeron and Atchafalaya Search and Rescue along various branches of the Cajun Navy, have spent hundreds of hours searching almost a hundred miles of the mighty Mississippi.
Their passion for what they do and dedication to finding answers is unmatched. Although they have not been able to recover these young men to date, they keep trying and their enthusiasm has certainly been a blessing to the families.
Covering incidents like this shakes me to the core. The image was of Med Palmer that first Saturday and with tears in his eyes, he was committed to bringing his son home. Please continue to keep these fine families and those searching for the young men in your thoughts and prayers. Sheriff Pace still has personnel on the river everyday for several hours. Families and volunteers continue to search as well.