WEINER, Ark. (KAIT) - Investigators have identified a man’s body found in a Poinsett County ditch.
Sheriff Kevin Molder said Tuesday, April 13, that autopsy results positively identified the body as that of 47-year-old Robert David Karnes of Cherry Valley.
Karnes had been reported missing from Cross County last month.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Cross County authorities received word on March 31 Karnes’s disappearance.
He reportedly had last been seen on March 27 at Gerald Eugene Hutchens’ home on Hardin Lane in Weiner.
Police later interviewed Hutchens about the situation.
“He said that [Karnes] was ‘f------ up’ when he got there. At one point, [Karnes] passed out and Hutchens put him on the floor,” the affidavit noted.
Hutchens reportedly told authorities that Karnes laid on the floor for about 12 hours. Hutchens later discovered that Kancer had died.
“Hutchens said that he called his cousin (Anthony Scott Mosley) for him to come over to his house. Hutchens said that after Mosley got there, Mosley and Buddy Cantrell (who was already at the residence) loaded [Karnes] into the back of his truck and covered him with a bluish-green tarp,” deputies said in an arrest affidavit. “Buddy Cantrell then left with [Karnes] to dispose of his body.”
Cantrell, Hutchens and Mosley were arrested on suspicion of abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. All three are being held on $35,000 bond each.
Poinsett County authorities said the Cross County Sheriff’s Office received information on March 31 about a man being missing from the Cherry Valley area.
“After an investigation was conducted, it was discovered that an incident occurred in Poinsett County that involved the person who was reported missing in Cross County,” the media release noted.
Cross County authorities then contacted Poinsett County officials about the case.
A search warrant was served at a residence outside of Weiner April 6. Soon after, Poinsett County, Cross County, Jackson County and Craighead County deputies and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission began looking for the missing person.
Poinsett County Sheriff Kevin Molder told Region 8 News that the agencies provided key support, including boats, four-wheelers and a drone in the search for the missing person.
The body was found around 6 p.m. Thursday in a ditch north of Weiner, officials said.
The body has been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab in Little Rock for an autopsy.