“He brought happiness to everybody,” friends remember Jeff Elmer


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — A community is in mourning after a man was found dead in Lake Fayetteville.

Robert Jeff Elmer, 61, was reported missing on Feb. 10th.

Two days later his car was found parked at Veterans Memorial Park near Lake Fayetteville.

The search turned into a recovery when the Washington County Dive Team found his body Friday morning in a cove near the park.

His body was found in ten feet of water, and police say no foul play is suspected at this time.

Elmer was a talented musician, known to play the bass. He toured around the country with his band, Brian Odle and the Hillbilly Underground.

“It’s obvious why everyone would like Jeff. He brought happiness to everybody,” Odle said. “Jeff was a rockstar. He’s liked by everyone, I mean he plays every type of music. He enjoys every type of music, he enjoys everybody he’s around.”

Odle met Elmer in 2003. The two have been friends and band members since, describing Elmer, “…a great attitude, always cracking jokes, no hangs up about anything. He always had my back.”

Hundreds of people in the Northwest Arkansas community searched for leads and answers through social media and on foot.

“That’s the type of community we live in. People want to help, and they want to get out there and help their neighbor,” Sgt. Tony Murphy of the Fayetteville Police Department said. “We were dedicated to finding Mr. Elmer.”

Elmer’s friends say his legacy will live on. “He’s been a huge part of everybody’s life,” Odle said. “He’s playing on the big stage in the sky.”

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