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Local deputies search for two missing people out of Central Arkansas

Officials say Jack Stewart, 85, and Joy Stricklands-Ward, 75 both went missing from Van Buren County in early May.

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Ark. — Local sheriff's departments are helping search for two missing elderly people in Van Buren County, located in north central Arkansas. 

According to the Van Buren County Sheriff's Office (VBCSO), Jack Stewart, 85, and Joy Stricklands-Ward, 75 are both missing from the same address in Van Buren County.

Deputies say Stewart, who has Alzheimer's, was last seen in the Choctaw area of Van Buren County on May 9, 2022, around 6 p.m. 

Ward was last seen on May the 8 at the Searcy and Newton County line. 

VBCSO says the disappearances are connected since they share the same address, but they aren't sure if the pair is together or not. Officials say Ward has lived at the shared address on and off for a couple of years. 

Ward is 5’5”, has blue eyes, short gray hair, and weighs 145 pounds. Stewart is 6’2", weighs 200 pounds, and has blue eyes and gray hair. 

The VBCSO says he was driving his 2002 two-door dark blue Chevy 1500 truck. Officials say they both left Walmart in the truck on May 6, according to VBCSO.

According to Crawford County Interim Sheriff James Damonte, someone found Stewart's truck over the weekend. Damonte says it was stuck in the mud. Since then investigators have found his shirt and boot prints, they think he may have been in this area since before Friday.

Crawford, Sebastian and Washington County deputies are all in the Natural Dam, Cove Creek area looking for them.

Officials say Ward made plans to walk from Oklahoma City to Los Angeles in 2022 but are unsure if this is the reason for her disappearance. 

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact investigator Tonya Bradford with the VBCSO at 501-745-2112. You can also contact your local police department or call 911 if it is an emergency.

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