Three Arkansas State University students are reported missing in the Batesville cave system in nearby Independence County. Katherine Sherwood, the wife of one of the three students, reported them missing to the A-State University Police Department last evening. Her husband, Casey Sherwood, who is a senior at Arkansas State, was leading the group on the spelunking trip. We are currently reaching out to the parents of the two other students that accompanied Casey, Daiki Itoh and Daisuke Takagi. Daiki and Daisuke are incoming first-year students from Japan.UPDATE: Follow Meredith Miller of KAIT on Twitter for a steady stream of updates on the case. She's been talking with Sherwood's father about his son's caving experience and the extent to which the cave has been mapped.
UPD notified the Independence County Sherriff’s Department late last night to check the area known as Blowing Cave. Independence County is currently conducting a search and rescue mission in the cave system, and we encourage media to contact the Independence County Office of Emergency Management for information related to the search.
Acting Chancellor Lynita Cooksey said this morning, “We are praying for both the searchers and our students who are missing. Arkansas State is between semesters, and many of our students go out to explore the surrounding nature areas. Our UPD, Academic Affairs and Student Services personnel are supporting the Independence County Sherriff with information and photographs of the students.”