Body of missing cattle rancher recovered

Posted at 5:00 PM, Mar 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-12 00:21:23-05

The body of a missing cattle rancher was recovered in five feet of water in Big Creek around 4:20 p.m. on Friday.

Harold Frank who went missing on Wednesday night while trying to save his cattle from floodwaters was pronounced deceased before 5 p.m. on Friday.

Crews had been searching for Frank since Thursday morning and continued their efforts on Friday with the help of scent dogs, additional game wardens and boats. 

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Captain Neal Bieler said crews didn't know the specific spot where Frank was last seen, just the general area, which made the search difficult.

"You're searching a massive area of water and you don't have a really good location. You just have to cover all your bases and keep spiraling out and make your area bigger and bigger," said Captain Bieler.

Scent dogs were sent out to search for an hour on Friday afternoon to help narrow the search. 

A scent dog named "Fergie" from the Search Dog Network, alerted two handlers and a game warden after it tracked the location of the body around 4 p.m. 

"We sent them out and pulled everybody else back off the water to give the dogs ample time with no other scent in the area, no other boats, and they went out and marked him at that time when they were out there by themselves gave us the area to look for," said Captain Bieler.. 

The area where the body was recovered was located was half a mile from the front part of the property just off Highway 6. That area was initially covered with 8-feet of water but on Friday it was 5-feet. 

Ronnie Neumann, who was Frank's friend for 13 years, is mourning the loss of his friend. He described him as someone kind and hard working who would've done anything for him.

After Frank went missing on Wednesday night, he hoped for the best.

"When he wasn't in that tree or deer stand, we didn't have that much hope. That's when I really got scared and felt like I'm afraid for the worse now," said Neumann.

Neumann who sold Frank this property years ago said he was sad this happened to his friend.

"I'm thinking about the place and no more Harold, and the kids. They won't get to know their dad like most people. Now it's going to be different with no Harold," said Neumann. 

According to Neumann, 2,000 out of 2,500 of land of Franks property was covered with water on Thursday.

On Friday,between 30 to 40 people helped with the search by water and land, including four game wardens and a captain with Texas Parks and Wildlife, Falls County authorities and volunteers. Five boats were used during the second day of the search. 

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