October 23, 2013 Edition

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Body found belongs to
missing Trumann man

Lawrence County officials have recovered the body of missing Trumann man, Steven Leon Hooks, 51, formerly of Jonesboro.

The Lawrence County Sheriff's Department began investigating Hooks's disappearance when his 2001 black Ford Taurus was found abandoned Friday on a field road off Lawrence County Road 745 near Alicia.

"Family members contacted the sheriff's department and reported that Hooks's vehicle had a tracking device, which showed to be in the Alicia area," said Lawrence County Sheriff Jody Dotson.

Hooks had not been heard from since Oct. 11 and family members had been searching for him.

"Deputies followed the GPS tracking and found the vehicle at the back of a farm field off county road 745," said Dotson. The vehicle was locked and did not appear disabled.

According to Dotson, investigators processed the vehicle, but nothing suspicious was found.

"The vehicle was towed from the scene. Deputies and investigators continued searching the area but nothing turned up during the search," Dotson said.

On Monday, the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department received a call from a property owner in Alicia claiming to have found a pair of boots and wallet belonging to Hooks. The items were found about one-fourth of a mile from where Hooks's vehicle had been discovered.

"After receiving the call I requested that a deputy take an ATV and search the area, including the surrounding farm ditches that lead to Village Creek," said Dotson.

Shortly before 5 p.m. the deputy discovered Hooks's body floating in a large farm ditch off Lawrence County Road 739, approximately one mile from the abandoned vehicle scene.

The Lawrence County Dive Team was notified to recover the body, which was then turned over to the Lawrence County Coroner.

Hooks's family and the Trumann Police Department were notified, and the body has been sent to the State Medical Examiners Office for an autopsy.

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