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Search volunteers gathered for assignments at the Carter County Mobile Command Center, which was brought to the remote location to serve as a headquarters for the search team. Credit: National Parks Service photograph

The body of a missing hunter was found Wednesday morning in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways near Cave Spring in Carter County, authorities said.

Phillip Carnell, 58, was dropped off at his hunting spot on the morning of Nov. 13 by a friend. When he failed to return from hunting later in the day and could not be located by family and friends, he was reported missing. Emergency responders began scouring the area for Carnell that evening.

After more than two days of intense searching, volunteers on horseback discovered Carnell’s body on a small island in a slough Wednesday morning. It is suspected that he became lost and crossed the slough onto the island while tracking a deer.  The condition of the body is consistent with death caused by hypothermia and exposure, authorities said. An investigation is ongoing.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways said it appreciates the assistance of everyone involved in the effort. During the course of the search, multiple local agencies, fire departments and organizations provided personnel and resources. There was a huge outpouring of community support, with nearly 150 volunteers combing the area on Nov. 14 and 15. The search teams utilized nearly every means of search available by air, land and water. Volunteers and emergency responders traversed the area on foot, in vehicles, by boat, and on horseback. Aircraft and drones flew over the area multiple times and dog teams were used in an attempt to pick up a scent trail.

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