January 24, 2021

Search for missing duck hunters moves south down Mississippi River

Authorities extended their search further south Thursday as they continued looking for two missing duck hunters missing since Dec. 3.

“We are patrolling an area from south of Port Gibson to just north of the LeTourneau Landing,” Sheriff Martin Pace said.

He said Warren County Sheriff’s deputies and Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks agents put in at LeTourneau Thursday morning with some Wildlife and Fisheries agents putting in at Port Gibson.

Pace said the boats have been doing surface patrols and using down-ranging sonar. “So far, we’ve not located either of these young men nor have we located any more items out of the boat,” he said.

Pace said the search will resume Friday morning.

The search for Zeb Hughes, 21, from Wesson, and 16-year-old Gunner Palmer began 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.

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.

Besides the water search, nearly 30 people conducted a ground search Monday. The group included members of the families and volunteers. Pace said the group was taken under escort into the area and suspended their search at about 2 p.m.