A third life has been taken by the still-elusive “beast” in Lake Dardanelle, according to a news release from the Russellville Police Department.
The first two victims of the beast were a fisherman and his wife, both of whom have still not been identified due to the lack of recovered remains.
The beast, named “Dardan” by Russellville Mayor Bill Eaton, took its third victim on Friday (Sept. 12) at 11:45 p.m., the release states.
The circumstances of the third victim deviate slightly from the first two, but the result were the same.
Four men were out on the lake Friday evening hunting for the beast. Two of the men were armed with rifles. One was armed with a shotgun, and the last man was armed with a harpoon gun. They set out to hunt at 9:30 p.m. from the Pleasant View Disc Golf Course in a 2014 Carolina Cat 24DC fishing boat, according to the release.
“They brought with them several baked hams for bait, and as far as we can tell, the bait worked. It lured in the beast,” said Russellville Police Department Public Information Officer Drew Latch.
Later that evening, when a thick mist began to build, the beast came to the hunting party. The group was on the back side of the disc golf course near Bakers Creek when it found them.
One of the survivors, David Sarvis, 30, of Pottsville told police that they heard movement in the water, but with the thick mist, they couldn’t see anything, the release states.
“We heard something moving in the water, and then, our boat was overturned,” Sarvis said.
In the chaos, all four men lost their weapons. Sarvis told police that three of the survivors, himself included, were thrown about five feet from the boat when it overturned, according to the release.
One of the men, however, was trapped under the boat. He was identified by his companions as Mark Thompson, 52, of Russellville.
The men tried to swim back toward the boat, but the beast somehow was able to pull the entire boat, and Thompson, down beneath the dark water, the release states.
At that point, the men swam to shore, got back to their vehicles, and used a cellular phone to call 911.
Russellville police arrived at the location around 12:03 a.m. on Saturday, and they were soon joined by a dive team from the Pope County Department of Emergency Management, according to the release.
Divers were unable to locate any sign of the body or beast, but they did find the boat broke into several pieces along the bottom of Bakers Creek.
Similar to the first incident with the beast, all witnesses were required to take a polygraph test, and they all passed, the release states.
“The Russellville Police Department and Pope County Sheriff’s Office are now coordinating with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to find this creature,” Latch said.
Law enforcement again requested that all local residents stay off the lake until the animal in question could be located and captured.
“We take this situation very seriously. Now that three people are dead, we hope that everyone else will do the same. Whatever is out there in our lake is going to be dealt with, but it will take time. Until that time comes, please stay out of the water,” said Russellville Mayor Bill Eaton in a radio public service announcement.