Funeral arrangements made for Sikeston grandfather found dead after going missing while hunting in Carter Co.

An outpouring of support at a time of tragedy. That's how a Sikeston family describes the 4 day searching for their missing loved one in Carter County
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 1:39 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2022 at 3:27 PM CST
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CARTER COUNTY, Mo. (KFVS) - Family members released funeral arrangements for a Sikeston man found dead after he went missing while hunting.

According to the family, visitation for Phillip Carnell will be Friday, November 25 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Nunnelee Funeral Chapel in Sikeston, Missouri. Funeral services will be at the chapel on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 11 a.m. with Matt Brooks and Bishop Ken Carnell officiating.

Internment will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery in Sikeston.

The family said food and gathering will be held at Miner Baptist Church in Miner, Mo.

According to Lindall Gregory, park ranger with the National Park Service, 58-year-old Phillip Carnell was found dead early Wednesday morning, November 16 about 900 feet from where he was hunting in a slough, which is backwater from a body of water.

The head of the search team said they believe Carnell suffered hypothermia after falling down into the water-filled ditch.

David Carnell took a moment on Wednesday afternoon to share his thoughts on the effort to find his brother.

“So impressed with how every group here worked together. The leadership that was shown here was amazing and there’s nothing I would change, nothing I would question,” he said.

The Carnell name may sound familiar if you live in southeast Missouri. The family runs Carnell Collision in Sikeston.

“Our family has been in business for many years. And you don’t know how many lives you’ve touched, how many lives you’ve affected. And I hate that we have to see it through a time like this, but people have come out of the woodwork. And every organization, every entity that has anything to do with this, whether it’s medical, whether it’s police, whether it’s rescue. They’ve all worked tightly as a team,” David Carnell said.

On Tuesday, the brother of Phillip Carnell said they were holding out hope for a miracle.

“You know, we’re still praying for a miracle,” David Carnell said. “We’ve heard of things in the past where people have survived days, but we still believe it. We still trust in God for a miracle. We just ask everybody to continue to pray.”

According to a release from the Ozark National Scenic Riverway, Carnell was dropped off at his hunting spot on Sunday morning, November 13 by a friend. When he didn’t return home from hunting later in the day, and could not be found by family and friends, he was reported missing.

Emergency responders began searching the area Sunday evening.

According to Ozark National Scenic Riverways, on Monday crews found some of Carnell’s gear, including his gun.

They said they found his foot prints near where he was hunting.

After more than two days of searching, volunteers on horseback found Carnell’s body on a small island in a slough.

According to the parks service, it is suspected he became lost and crossed the slough onto the island while tracking a deer.

The investigation is ongoing.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways said in the release it appreciates the assistance of everyone involved in the effort.

Search volunteers gathered for assignments at the Carter County Mobile Command Center, which...
Search volunteers gathered for assignments at the Carter County Mobile Command Center, which was brought to the remote location to serve as a headquarters for the search team.(National Park Service)

During the course of the search, multiple local agencies, fire departments and organizations provided personnel and resources. They said there was a huge outpouring of community support, with nearly 150 volunteers combing the area on November 14 and 15.

They said the search teams used nearly every means of search available by air, land and water. Volunteers and emergency responders searched the area on foot, in vehicles, by boat and on horseback. Aircraft and drones flew over the area multiple times, and dog teams were used in an attempt to pick up a scent trail.