Community holds candlelight vigil for Harrison missing couple

HARRISON, Ark. - Hundreds of people reflected Friday night on how John and Amy Villines touched their lives.

Pauline Reeves, a friend of John's, said, “We would always call on John to unlock vehicles when a child was locked in there. And he’d be on his way so not only did we have a working relationship, we were friends, and you could call on him to do anything.”

Reeves said about Amy: “All my friends knew her. Said she’s a wonderful person.”

Authorities believe Amy and John were swept away during a flash flood last week, down a dry creek bed, and into a tunnel that leads to Lake Harrison.

Their car was found, but they were not in it.

Reeves said, “It’s bad enough when you hear it happen, but when you find out it’s one of your friends it’s just heartbreaking it’s devastating.”

The community came out with candles and prayers to stand on the family’s side.

Reeves said, “I hope that we can maybe make the family feel better let them know that this community loved them. That it’s devastating to this community because they’ve had a business for years and they know that we love them and that we’re praying that we at least get some closure and we can find them.”

Multiple agencies searched Lake Harrison with sonar, cadaver dogs and even a helicopter, but so far nothing.

Harrison Assistant Fire Chief Darrell Pace said, “We want closure for the family. And that’s our biggest thing is for the family.”

Crews will not be out Saturday because of the possible wintry weather.

Pace said, “With the weather coming in the way it is: possible ice and stuff. Hypothermia kicking in on the guys that are searching in the water and stuff. People on the ground if it’s slick slipping and falling and possibly falling into the creek.”

Depending on the weather, crews will be back out here again Sunday or Monday. And family and friends are still asking for your prayers.