BELLA VISTA, Ark — Police are investigating after the remains of a missing woman were found in Bella Vista.
The body of Barbara Doyle was found in the woods off Hwy. 279 near the Presbyterian Church of Bella Vista Wednesday (Aug. 25) around 7 p.m. during a planned ground search.
According to Bella Vista Communications Director Cassi Lapp, an autopsy confirmed the remains belong to Barbara Doyle, 74, who has been missing from Bella Vista since Aug. 12.
“This is hard. But that would’ve been harder not to know indefinitely what happened to her,” said Jack Doyle, Barbra Doyle’s husband of 52-years.
Multiple agencies from the area and the state have assisted Bella Vista Police Department in the search, covering more than 1,500 acres of ground and water.
The search Wednesday night was done by volunteer members of the Benton County Search and Rescue team, which is under the direction of Benton County Emergency Management.
“We’re sorry that it turned out this way,” said James Graves, Bella Vista Chief of Police. “We wish, we hoped, we pray that this would turn out a little different for the family."
The Doyle’s still trying to process the possibility of never seeing their wife and mother again. Her son Chris Doyle calling her charismatic. “I love her big smile and her laugh. She has a heart for everyone,” said Chris Doyle.
Although this might be a tough situation, the Doyle’s are glad to have closure.
“One of my fears is that this could go on indefinitely the way it was going,” Jack Doyle said. “That would’ve been hard. This is hard but that would’ve been harder."
Family and friends held a candlelight vigil for Doyle Wednesday night at St. Bernard Church in Bella Vista. The family is now calling on prayers from the community.
“It’s hard,” said Jack Doyle. “You know it takes a while to get over it. So, it’s going to take some time.”
Graves said at this time, no foul play is suspected. “I believe she was probably there most of the time. Just because of the way her body was for being out in the element for two weeks,” Graves said.
However, the scene remains under investigation and will be processed to preserve all evidence so that nothing is missed in the event more information arises in the future.
An autopsy will be conducted on Doyle’s body Friday in Little Rock.