MAUMELLE, Ark. – Maumelle Police said Sunday they found the body of a woman who’d been missing since last week after paddleboarding. Members of Ashley Haynes’ group said they were deeply saddened by her loss.
“It’s literally been something in my head, and every 15 minutes I’ve been refreshing on the internet,” said Leabeth Campbell, a member of the paddleboarding group “SUP 501 Paddle Club.”
Campbell said she has been paddling since 2018, and many people do it for its spiritual and mental health benefits. She said Haynes was known as a strong paddler who lived on the river, which gave her easy access to her passion.
“I’ve heard Ashley was in a wetsuit,” Campbell said. “That’s something I’ve done myself.”
Friends of Haynes said on Wednesday that the Maumelle native was passionate about her community, especially unsheltered people in Central Arkansas. She was also a Girl Scout Troop leader. Friends said she used paddleboarding as a way to relax and recharge.
Haynes left a note to family members that she would return from a float Wednesday evening. When she didn’t return, her family called police. A search party found her body near the spot where crews have searched for days.
“I just don’t know what could’ve happened that a strong paddler like herself could end up in this way,” Campbell said.
Haynes’ body will now go to the state crime lab for further investigation. Police said they don’t think foul play was involved.