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Crews Recover Fallen Brother Jake Harrell

The location where Jake Harrell was found was not at all the path crews expected him to take.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, AR - Efforts to recover a forestry commission pilot who was found dead in the Ouachita National Forest came to an end Wednesday night. Crews are bulldozed a path to retrieve Jake Harrell and his plane from the side of a mountain.

After 12 days of searching 2.6 million acres, fatigued but determined, local and state officers located missing Forestry Commission Pilot Jake Harrell 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.
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