LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas family is getting their best sleep in ages because a lost loved one is finally back home almost a year and a half since he was reported missing.
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office shared 27-year-old Harley McCourt was located in Galveston, Texas on March 11.
According to McCourt’s family, it was October 2, 2021, just before a Razorbacks game, when they realized Harley was nowhere to be seen at his trailer.
Everything from his wallet to his phone were left behind and they immediately started searching. For over 500 days after that, pictures were all the McCourt family had to remember Harley.
“He just always made everything fun. Like we’d go on camping trips. He was always the one to show everyone how to fish and do everything. You know, he was just the light I guess you’d say,” Brittany Crumpton, Harley’s sister, said.
When that light went missing, Crumpton, her sister and mother did everything to get Harley’s name out there, traveling to and spending whatever it took to rent a billboard, make flyers and offer a $10,000 reward.
“Every day just trying to find something, anything. I felt like an investigator,” Crumpton remembered. “Your mind just wanted to tell you no, he’s not alive. He’s not alive, but my heart just something just said he’s alive somewhere and he’s out there.”
After numerous searches, it was one fateful phone call from Galveston, Texas, on March 11 that made the difference.
Harley was stopped by an officer late one night because he was walking against traffic. He just so happened to have his old backpack which listed all of his and his family’s information in case he ever went missing while hunting.
That was around 3 a.m. and immediately Crumpton and her mother, Kim McCourt, made the seven and half hour drive. They would be searching for Harley based on what they last heard.
According to Crumpton, authorities had to let Harley go because he wasn’t committing a crime and they couldn’t hold him for them.
They started their Galveston search by renting a golf cart, handing out fliers, and rolling around the beach, but after most of the day, they had no luck and ran out of beach.
To take their minds off of the search Brittany and Kim started looking for seashells. “Me and my mom weren’t paying attention,” Crumpton said.
When Kim’s name was called out, Crumpton remembered, “She looked up, and I just like threw all my seashells down, and I was like oh my gosh. I couldn’t believe it, he was walking down the beach, he had an umbrella, his glasses, and he had a COVID mask on still.”
Calling Harley’s name, he recognized his family and they reunited with the biggest hug. Harley then joined them on the cart.
According to Crumpton, Kim said, “Christmas came with us too”, and they treated Harley with new clothes, steak and everything he needed to make up for missing his 26 and 27th birthdays and other holidays.
Crumpton said Harley’s memory of how he got lost and homeless is still fuzzy as if some memories have been blocked out. When they returned to Arkansas, he was helped by calling the 988 mental health line.
Harley is currently in the hospital, his family visits every day and said he is improving.
“A lot of his personality traits and stuff are coming out already and he’s started to get back to being happy. We laughed a lot yesterday, so it’s good,” Crumpton said Friday.
On the social media page dedicated to bringing Harley home, Harley’s mother, Kim McCourt said, “My heart is full again. Thank you all for the prayers and support. We couldn’t have made it through this without all the wonderful people who sent prayers and gave their time on our searches.”
Kim McCourt thanked the Morgan Nick Foundation, Sgt. Jeffrey King of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, and the Quapaw K-9 unit for the help and hope they provided.
The McCourt family’s prayer is that others missing a loved one hold on to hope.
“Don’t give up,” Crumpton encouraged. “Keep the face, you know, keep pictures out. Keep it going because someone will see him.”
Brittany stated her family hopes to have Harley back home in a couple of weeks. According to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, Harley’s initial disappearance is still under investigation.