Sheriff’s Department releases more information on discovery of man reported missing

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The 17-year-old young man who went missing from his job late Saturday night in Desha was picked up by the Independence County Sheriff’s Department early Tuesday evening in the Lock 2 area of the White River.

Sheriff Shawn Stephens said this morning that Bradley Smith had apparently been staying in the woods on the Locust Grove side of the river.

Stephens said his department had conducted several interviews in the process of locating Smith, noting they had received information that he might be in that area.

A deputy stopped a vehicle driven by an acquaintance of Smith’s coming out of the area with Smith as a passenger. The sheriff said they had traced the use of Smith’s debit card and suspected he had withdrawn an amount of cash to purchase some supplies.

As for a reason for the disappearance, Sheriff Stephens noted that the young man said he didn’t want to be ordered around, but “wanted to be his own man.” He also told authorities that he had “walked away from his job site.”

The sheriff said Smith was taken home to his older brother and legal guardian.

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