Eight days after Mississippi duck hunters vanished search for them continues

Published 9:51 pm Friday, December 11, 2020

Authorities looking for two duck hunters missing since Dec. 3 were again unsuccessful in their efforts as the eighth day of the search came to a close Friday.

Boats with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks planned to return to Mississippi River Saturday, weather permitting.

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said Friday the search for the pair was being concentrated on the water. He said deputies launched Friday from LeTourneau Landing, while Wildlife and Fisheries agents launched from LeTourneau, Port Gibson and Natchez.

The search for Zeb Hughes, 21, from Wesson, and 16-year-old Gunner Palmer began the evening of Dec. 3 after relatives reported they did not return from a duck hunting trip on the river. The pair put in at the LeTourneau Landing earlier that day to reportedly go duck hunting.

The search had centered over a roughly six-mile area of the river, from just below the 420-mile marker to just about the 425-mile marker, and involved Warren County Sheriff’s deputies, MDWFP agents, first responders, Madison Parish, La., sheriff’s deputies, fixed-wing aircraft, drones and a helicopter.

Thursday, Pace said the search was actually shifted farther south near Port Gibson. He also said that ground search efforts had been suspended, but would resume if officials received evidence that the pair might have made it to land.