Arkansas Forestry Commission Brings Jake Harrell Back Home

- MONTGOMERY COUNTY, AR - The body of missing Arkansas Forestry Commission pilot, Jake Harrell, has returned home Wednesday evening, with escorts from Arkansas' Fire Departments.

Crews bulldozed a 2-mile path to retrieve Harrell and his plane from the side of a mountain Wednesday2.

After 12 days of searching 2.6 million acres, local and state officers found the missing pilot and his plane on Tuesday.

"It's been tough, very few people putting in many hours," says Sheriff David White.

"The location that we found Jake was not at all on the path we expected him to take. Every person involved has built a personal connection with Jamie and with Jake and what they represent in terms of service to Arkansas it was very emotional," said Adriane Barnes, spokesperson for the AFC.

Pilots and eyewitness' tips steered crews to a group of mountains in Montgomery County, 26 miles from Harrell's last check in with the Forestry Commission.

He was near Oden spotting wildfires before disappearing into thick brush.

The same steep terrain remains a persistent problem as they focus on the next part of their mission.

"How do we get the plane out? Right now the primary mission is to clear a path," Barnes said.

Crews are building a road, to retrieve the wrecked plane, and recover and return their fallen brother.

"Getting Jake back to his family is the No. 1 priority," White said.

The Arkansas Forestry Commission set up a scholarship fund for Harrell's son.

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