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Body of Arkansas Wildlife Officer Recovered

Y CITY -- An Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife officer missing since early Friday flooding was found Sunday in Scott County after a search resumed for missing flood victims.

"It is with profound sadness that we announce the recovery of our wildlife officer Joel Campora," a Game and Fish official stated on the commission Facebook page Sunday morning. "He was found earlier today near Y City where he attempted to do what he was trained to do -- save lives."

Scott County Sheriff Cody Carpenter also perished in the floodwaters; his body was recovered Friday.

The body of a white female was found Saturday about a half-mile off U.S. 71 just east of a tributary of the Fourche LaFave River. Officials, however, did not reveal the woman's name and said they could not confirm whether she was one of the reported missing.

Carpenter's body was discovered Friday about 8 a.m. a mile downstream from a residence he and Campora went to check on earlier Friday. The residence was home to two women Carpenter and Campora feared might be trapped as the river rose rapidly following heavy rain that started Thursday night.

At least one of the women remains missing, pending positive identification of the body discovered Saturday as one of the women in the residence.

Also Friday, the body of an elderly woman was recovered. Saturday evening, Scott County Chief Deputy Terry Staggs said officials still weren't ready to release her name; she died after she got out of her car on U.S. 71 and floodwaters swept her underneath the car. Volunteer firefighters stretched out a ladder to rescue the woman's husband.

The Game and Fish official stated that being a wildlife officer was vital to Campora.

"In his cadet biography, Joel said he knew he wanted to be a wildlife officer since the fourth grade," the official stated. "Please keep the Campora family, as well as all of the people involved in this tragedy, in your prayers."

Copyright 2013 - Times Record, Fort Smith, Ark.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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