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Searchers battle the elements in continued efforts to find missing hunters



A rescue boat from the Warren County Sheriff's Office. (photo by Thomas Parker)

The efforts to find two missing duck hunters on the Mississippi River continues Sunday morning, according to Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace.

Pace reported that he and his officers along with officials from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks will search on the river for as long as the weather permits.  Pace is hopeful that the incoming rain remains light, enabling visibility on the water.  The team also plans to utilize aircraft during the morning hours, before rainfall makes visibility from the air an issue.

Currently, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office has two boats on the water.  One of these has an HRD dog from a private company on board.  The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks plans to have two more search vessels in the water shortly.

The current forecast calls for a 50% chance of afternoon showers, but searchers are hoping it will hold off.  Pace said they will persist unless lightning occurs or the rain becomes too intense.  Only then will they suspend the search effort for the pair of hunters that disappeared on Thursday, Dec. 3.

Gunner Palmer, 16, and Zeb Hughes, 21, both from Copiah County, Mississippi, went out on a boat with their black Labrador retriever, Kye, in search of good spots for duck hunting near Davis Island.  When the two young men didn’t return later that evening, a search of the river and surrounding areas began.

Hundreds of trained personnel and concerned volunteers have been vigilantly searching the area for the last ten days.  Pace has vowed to not give up and says the team is committed to finding the families some answers.


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