Region 8 Man Questioned in Disappearance of Missing Charter Boat Crew off Miami Coast

MIAMI - An Independence County man who allegedly stole more than $90,000 from the Batesville Wal-Mart store in January is being held by the U.S. Coast Guard in connection with the disappearance of a missing charter boat crew off the coast of Miami.

The FBI is searching for four missing members of a fishing boat crew.  Relatives of the missing crew members called authorities Sunday to report the boat, the 'Joe Cool,' had not returned as scheduled.  The Coast Guard says when it spotted the boat near the Bahamas, no one was on board and its contents were in disarray.

The FBI is now questioning two men found in a life raft about 12 miles from the boat.  One of those men is identified as 35-year-old Kirby Archer of Batesville.  Archer is accused of stealing more than $90,000 from the Batesville Wal-Mart, where he was an employee at the time.  He allegedly put the money in an empty microwave oven box as he carried it out of the store.

A Florida man says Archer and another man chartered the 'Joe Cool' from his nephew.

Archer is considered a fugitive in Arkansas.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)