Divers Endure A Late Night Along With Searchers In The Sidney Randall Search
On Friday, volunteers were organized to assist with the ongoing search for missing 14 year old Sidney Randall as the search approaches one month. ATV riders, horseback searchers, Lawrence County Deputies and others spent Friday clearing areas around Black Rock including abandoned properties and farm fields. A large group assisted with the effort, searching and reporting any areas searched back to search coordinators.
Saturday, volunteers assembled at the Walnut Ridge Police Department and were dispatched to areas between Imboden and Smithville that included all the county roads from Hwy 115 including areas towards Ravenden and back to the Sharp/Lawrence County line in the Lone Oak Church area. A second group was organized and placed in the Lake Charles State Park area and worked grids back to Lynn and the area of Strawberry. A 3rd team on horses went along the banks of the Black River north of Black Rock to the Randolph County line. Members of a K9 Search Group from Tennessee were accompanied by the Sheriff’s Dive Team to search areas around water including the Running Water Creek at Clover Bend, Quarries in the Black Rock and Imboden Area and Little Joe Lake in the area of Toles Road.
A boat containing Sonar was used around a large beaver dam along Running Water Creek in the area of Hwy 228, several search dogs had taken an interest in the area earlier in the day, sonar also displayed an area of interest and an image that needed to be identified. Chief Thatcher and Sheriff Dotson made a collective decision that the area needed to be cleared, the Lawrence County Dive Team was ask to dive the murky waters. Lighting was obtained from the Walnut Ridge Fire Department and Clover Bend Fire Department, small boats and equipment was moved into the area. Divers spent several hours in water that was less than 50 degrees as volunteers assisted with moving equipment up and down the banks of the creek. AET Ambulance was dispatched to warm the divers as they exited the water, medics spent hours working with divers from the team. Patrol cars from Lawrence County, Black Rock, Walnut Ridge PD and the Arkansas State Parks were used to light the area where so 50 people worked until after 1 am Sunday completing the operation. According to the Lawrence County Dive Team, the image shown on the sonar could only be ruled out by divers in the body of water actually searching the body of water. Once the operation was completed, Dive Teams members briefed Chief Thatcher of the WRPD, both agreed the area was clear.
Since the disappearance of 14 year old Sidney Randall from her residence in Walnut Ridge on March 9th, authorities have had no credible leads in the case, dozens of K-9 search dogs, dozens of boats including several with sonar, hundreds of ATV’s , scores of horseback riders and searchers on foot and over 1,000 volunteers have joined the search over the last 28 days. The search has also had the assistance of several law enforcement K-9 groups from Tennessee , Mississippi and Arkansas. Search volunteers from as far away as Hobart Indiana and southern Louisiana have traveled to the area to assist.
Between the organized search and property owners searching their own property, more than 80 percent of the county has been cleared with no results.
At this point, the search for missing Sidney Randall has gone cold, investigators still ask the public for any information concerning Sidney Randall. You are urged to call 870-886-2525 or 870-886-3628.