Body found in Arkansas believed to be that of missing Omahan who was spearfishing -
Published Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 12:00 am / Updated at 1:48 am
Body found in Arkansas believed to be that of missing Omahan who was spearfishing

Divers in Arkansas recovered a body that appears to have been that of a 28-year-old Omaha man who was presumed drowned, an Arkansas television station reported Monday.

Michael C. Burton is believed to have drowned July 27 while spearfishing with a friend at Beaver Lake in Arkansas. Burton failed to surface from a free dive in a cove 60 feet deep.

Carroll County, Ark., Sheriff Bob Grudek told the television station that he notified Burton's family about the discovery. Authorities were waiting for a positive identification from a medical examiner in Little Rock, but the body that was recovered was in a dive suit with a video camera and weight belt that all matched the description of Burton's equipment when he disappeared.

Burton's family — which includes his wife, Annemarie Burton, and their 1-year-old son, Isaac — went ahead with a memorial Mass on Aug. 8 at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church.

The family could not be reached Monday evening.

Authorities had officially called off the search for Burton's body after nearly a week and more than 100 dives into the area of the lake that was described as a pitch black, heavily wooded ravine.

Members of dive teams from three counties plus volunteer divers continued their efforts unofficially, Grudek told the 5News television station.

A volunteer from a private dive team located the body about 11 a.m. Monday and marked the location with a buoy, the sheriff said. The Benton County, Ark., dive team then recovered the body.

“The most important thing for the family is the closure,” Grudek said. “We were very happy we were able to recover the body for the family.”

He said investigators hope to recover usable video from the camera found with the body to determine what might have gone wrong and caused the drowning. Grudek said the body was on the bottom of the lake and not hung up on any fishing line, hooks or debris.

Contact the writer: Susan Szalewski    |   402-444-1304

Susan is a part-time cops and breaking news reporter for

Beau McCoy calls Pete Ricketts a 'convenient conservative' for immigration stance
Police ID body found near 36th, Seward Streets
Agreement reached to end dog racing at Bluffs Run at end of 2015
World champion Crawford's promoter working to have title defense at CenturyLink Center
Hail, strong winds, heavy rain hit south-central Nebraska
Video: Stothert says Crossroads project is 'full speed ahead,' but she won't support bond issue
'Fairly old' human skull found in Mills County
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
Omaha crash victim, 19, had touched many lives
Firefighters take on 'fully engulfed barn fire'
Council Bluffs school board approves new district headquarters
Officials announce effort to lure more veterans to Nebraska
SB 132nd Street lane closed
Shane Osborn grabs several endorsements
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Omaha area may get 1 inch of rain tonight
Gov. Heineman vetoes bill to ease restrictions on nurse practitioners
Nebraska banking and finance director to retire
Waitress who served alcohol to teen before fatal crash gets jail time, probation
Owners of exotic dance bar deny prostitution allegations
More Nebraskans are electing to vote early
A day after Ricketts endorsement, Ted Cruz backs Sasse for Senate
Some city streets remain closed
Nebraska's U.S. Senate candidates stick to familiar topics at Omaha forum
< >
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
The idea that Paul Hogan had studied and then hatched at his mother's table was that older people, rather than moving in with relatives or to an assisted-living center, would much prefer to stay home instead.
Breaking Brad: Nebraska GOP candidates unified against naked squirrels
Some of these Nebraska campaigns are tilting pretty far right. At a recent forum, there was a consensus that we need to ban public dancing and clothe naked squirrels in public parks.
Breaking Brad: Inside the mind of a 99-year-old real estate agent
I saw an article about a 99-year-old real estate agent who's still working. “This house is extra special. It has indoor toilets!”
Breaking Brad: Into the claw machine! Florida kid follows Lincoln kid's lead
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a child climbed inside a claw machine. Hey, Florida kid: Nobody likes a copycat.
Breaking Brad: Even Chuck Hassebrook's throwing mud!
The Nebraska campaigns have turned so ugly, Democrat Chuck Hassebrook lobbed unfounded accusations at an imaginary opponent.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Tokyo Sushi
$5 for $10 or $10 for $20 toward All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Purchase
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »