JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ark. — The body of Arkansas County Northern District Judge Jeremiah T. Bueker has been recovered from a lake in Jefferson County.

Judge Bueker, 48 years old, had been on an outing with family in Jefferson County.

According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Bueker didn’t return after going out on his own in the Mud Lake area Saturday.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched by the Metropolitan Emergency Communications Association (MECA) just before midnight and immediately responded.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol joined wildlife officers with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission for an extensive ground and water search. 

His body was spotted by sonar shortly after 9:00 a.m.

Judge Bueker was recovered, identified, and pronounced deceased by the Jefferson County coroner a short time later.

Sheriff Lafayette Woods, Jr. said, “I truly pray that the successful recovery of Judge Bueker’s body by our deputies and Arkansas Game & Fish Wildlife Officers brings some sense of closure to the Bueker Family and those who knew him best.  The scour of emotions they must feel right now is devastating.”

Bueker’s death is being investigated as an accidental drowning.

His body will be sent to the State Medical Examiner for an autopsy.