Boone County, Ark. sheriff confirms 2nd body found is Amy Villines

HARRISON, Ark. -- The Boone County Sheriff's Office confirms to KY3 News the body of Amy Villines was found Saturday along Crooked Creek.

Searchers found the body of her husband John last week along the creek about three miles away from Amy Villines’ body.

Investigators say John and Amy Villines lost control of an SUV in flash flooding on November 30. The couple are known business leaders in the community. Searchers quickly found the couple's SUV lodged against a bridge. The city later drained Lake Harrison in the search, but did not find anything.

Investigators say both bodies were recovered from piles of debris.

John's body was discovered last Monday. Just days later, the county's Search and Rescue Team found Amy on Saturday.

"Until we found the first victim, we didn't even know if it was possible for them to get out of the lake," said Boone County Sheriff Mike Moore. "So that being said, when we knew the first victim had gotten out of the lake, it gave us a little bit of hope, and allowed us to concentrate our efforts close by."

John was found 20 miles down the creek from where their car was found. Amy was found 17 miles down the creek.

"It was surprising to everybody that they were found so far down," the sheriff said. "We didn't rule that out. The next day we were searching the creek almost to the county line."

Even though Harrison had plenty of rain in the past two months, the sheriff said he thinks John and Amy may have been there all along.

"I think they were probably there from day one," he said. "I don't know that, but just evidence around both bodies, I feel like they were probably there from day one."

Now that the search is over, the sheriff said he'd like his department to go over what they can improve on if a situation like this were to happen again.

"Hindsight is always 20/20. You can always think of things you could've done different," he said. "When they're lost in the water, you just don't know where to look except to look everywhere. And when you do that you can't pinpoint your efforts," he said.

The Arkansas State Examiner’s Office assisted with autopsies in the case.

Hundreds of volunteers, along with county and city workers, spent hundreds of hours searching.

"It's a big relief for us and all the volunteers who've been searching, but of course it's an even greater relief for the family," said Moore. "Now they can get on with their grieving process and having services for their folks."

The family held a memorial for the couple February 2.

Watch Sheriff Mike Moore's news conference Tuesday below:

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