LAKE OUACHITA – The remains of Grant County Sheriff’s Deputy Keith Wright have been recovered from Lake Ouachita according to Montgomery County Sheriff David White.
According to a statement released by the sheriffs office, a report came in Friday, August 23, of a body floating in Lake Ouachita in the area Wright was last seen Friday, July 19. The body was recovered and identified as Deputy Keith Wright.
The sheriff’s office contacted Montgomery County Coroner Jeff Blansett and Grant County Sheriff Ray Vance. Wright’s body has been sent to the Arkansas Crime Lab to determine cause and manner of death.
Wright had been missing for just over a month. He was reported missing Friday, July 19. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office reported that dispatch received a call at approximately 9:49 p.m.
Wright had gone missing while diving in the lake with a friend. The other diver reported that their boat had floated off while they were underwater. Wright went missing while they were trying to swim to the boat as it floated away from them. The other diver was able to swim to shore and was later rescued by another boat.
The caller reported that he and a friend had been boating on Lake Ouachita. He stated that they both dove off the barge while near a cove just north of Mountain Harbor Resort.
The caller stated that when they resurfaced the boat was drifting north away from their position in the water. The report states that the caller told them that both men began to swim toward the boat. It was at this time the caller stated he lost track of his friend in the water. He then swam to the shoreline and began to call for help. After being discovered by another boat he called the sheriff’s office to report the incident.
The missing individual was later identified as Grant County Deputy Keith Wright. Wright had worked for the Pine Bluff Police Department and the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office before working with the Grant County Sheriff’s Office. He had filled many roles in his law enforcement career, including work as a SWAT officer. Wright was also a veteran diver who taught diving lessons during his off time.
A massive search effort was launched that weekend, but had been scaled back in recent days.
Montgomery County Sheriff David White and Grant County Sheriff Ray Vance would like to thank everyone throughout the state who assisted in the search for Deputy Wright. Their thoughts and prayers go to the family and the whole law enforcement community.