101 Town Center, P.O. Box 5655, Bella Vista, AR 72714 (479)876-1255

Human remains located Sunday in Bella Vista

Human remains were discovered by a resident in a wooded area in Bella Vista Sunday, Oct. 30. Police are working to identify the remains, and it is possible the remains could be those of missing man Matthew Loftin.

Loftin, 46, has been missing since September 2021, after he was last seen in Bella Vista. Officers responded to a call around 2 p.m. September 20, 2021, from Brandy Loftin reporting her husband missing. Matthew Loftin’s vehicle was located that afternoon at the Buckingham Trailhead on the Back 40 Trails in Bella Vista. After an extensive search of the surrounding areas by members of multiple area law enforcement agencies and canine units, Loftin was not located.

On Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, a skull was discovered about one-and-a-half miles from the Buckingham Trailhead in the woods and was verified by police on Sunday to be human. Cadaver dogs were brought in from Joplin and searched the area on Monday for other bones, clothing or related articles.

The search revealed additional human remains about 200 yards from the skull, with clothing that matched the description of what Loftin had been wearing when he was last seen. There were no other identifying items recovered.

Following the search, collected evidence was turned over to the Benton County Coroner’s Office for further investigation.

Bella Vista Police Chief James Graves said the family has been notified and while the identity has not been confirmed, agencies are working to get that done as soon as possible.

There are no further details at this time, and this incident remains under investigation.