Body Found in White River Believed to be that of Rape Suspect

DECEMBER 15, 2006 - Posted at 11:52 a.m. CST

MOUNTAIN HOME, AR - A body found in the White River is believed by authorities to be that of a rape suspect who fled from police on November 6.

The corpse was found yesterday near a private boat dock near Cartney.  Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery says the body had a wallet with photo identification for 30-year-old Larry Otis Gebhart, who is accused in the sexual assault.  The badly decomposed body will be sent to the state Crime Laboratory for official identification.

Gebhart was charged with kidnapping and rape after a woman in Cotter told authorities of the attack.

The night of the report, law enforcement officers spotted Gebhart, who fled from his pickup truck off a rural road in Marion County.  Authorities then launched a search that lasted six hours near the Cotter Bridge and in the White River.  Searchers used boats and tracking dogs, but could not find Gebhart.

A man walking his dog yesterday saw the body in the water, floating in debris next to a boat dock.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)