State News

Law Enforcement Surprised White River Drowning Victim Hasn't Been Found

DES ARC, Ark. - Efforts continue by air, land and water as several law enforcement agencies search the White River for 9-year-old drowning victim Promise Archer. 

"It was just a matter of minutes we had several boats on the water looking," Asst. Chief Dewayne Mayher said. 

Des Arc Assistant Chief Dewayne Mayher was one of the first at the sandbar Sunday where Promise was last seen alive. 

"It drops off and there's a current that runs through here," Mayher explained as we floated by the sandbar in a boat. 

We're told Promise was wading in the water with her mother's friend. That's when she went under and never surfaced. 

"Right now what's working against the search is just the water's up, there's a lot of current in it, a lot of debris," Mayher said. 

Even without the motor running, our boat moves swiftly down the river. By some estimates, the water is moving about 6 mph. 

The swift water is a problem for dive teams that haven't been able to safely search under the water. 

A Game and Fish dive team has searched deep holes under the water once to see if the slender 4th grader was caught in one. 

"It's real frustrating," Drew Archer, Promise's dad said. 

Archer was delivering Mother's Day gifts when he got the call about his daughter. 

"All of a sudden the stories have started changing," Archer said. 

Police say only three people were on the sandbar Sunday, 
But archer says the rumors are multiplying. 

"Everybody saying this, somebody saying that, I mean, it's just too much right now," he said. 

Dozens of boats, more than 100 people and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment are being used to find Promise.

"96 hours that we've been looking for her," Mayher said. 

"Is that discouraging?" Reporter Rebecca Jeffrey asked. 

"Yes it is," he said. 

But answers won't be possible... 

"Until we do find her or until we get closure on it," Mayher said. 

And Promise's dad hopes closure will come before what would have been her 10th birthday on Monday. 

"I'm just waiting on the day they say they found my baby."

The family and law enforcement are asking for volunteers to help in this search effort, whether that's with a boat with sonar equipment or just an extra pair of eyes. 


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