At approximately 11:45 p.m. Sunday night, July 26, the Yell County Mounted Patrol (YCMP) was dispatched to the Visitor’s Center on Mount Nebo to conduct a lost person search. Yell County Mounted Patrol members were advised to respond to the Visitor’s Center to meet with a Yell County Sheriff’s Department investigator.
Upon arrival, members learned additional information concerning the search and the lost woman. YCMP members were informed that Verla Cowen, 72, had gone missing after visiting Sunset Point earlier Sunday evening with her husband.
According to her husband, Verla was last seen between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. when she told her husband she was “going to walk down here” and pointed towards Sunset Point.
Members were also informed that Cowen did not have her cell phone with her when she went missing and she was last seen by her husband. She was described to be wearing a light colored pin-stripe shirt, unknown color shorts and green shoes.
Rangers with Mount Nebo State Park advised that upon receiving the initial missing persons report, they walked Lizard Tail Trail, searched the Bench Trail using their side by side and had also checked the Rim Trail without finding the missing woman.
Yell County Sheriff’s Department officials advised that the Arkansas State Police could not issue a Silver Alert since there was “no report of cognitive impairment,” so at that time, Cowen was entered as a missing person.
After being briefed and learning additional information, at approximately 12:30 a.m., YCMP members organized search teams and began their search efforts in the area of Sunset Point. Search teams worked the designated areas on foot, by vehicle, and some searched by using ATVs.
The Yell County Sheriff’s Department contacted dispatch and requested Survival Flight 7 to assist in the search through the use of their thermal imager.
After being contacted, just after midnight, Survival Flight 7 launched from Russellville and traveled to the area of Mount Nebo State Park to assist in the search efforts.
Upon arriving in the area, Survival Flight 7 flew over the mountain and made several passes of the area communicating their findings and pointing out areas of possible interest to Yell County officials.
Survival Flight 7 and the search teams worked throughout the night and early morning hours on Monday, but were unable to locate the missing woman.
Just before 3 a.m. the search efforts were discontinued but plans were made to resume the search after sunrise Monday morning if the woman was not found.
Just after 7 a.m. Monday morning, July 27, Yell County authorities were contacted and advised that Cowen had been located and is safe. Although no further details were released at the time of this story, Cowen was reportedly found on a trail.
The attached photos and the following video were captured as search efforts were underway.