LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) — An Arkansas family is getting their best sleep in ages after their loved one finally returned home almost a year and a half since he was reported missing.
Harley McCourt was located in Galveston, Texas on March 11, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office confirmed.
According to Harley’s family, the 27-year-old first went missing in October 2021. It was just before a University of Arkansas Razorbacks game when they realized he was nowhere to be seen at his trailer. Even his wallet and phone had been left behind.
Harley’s family did everything to get his name out there for the more than 500 days he was missing, from renting a billboard to making flyers and offering a $10,000 reward.
“Every day, just trying to find something, anything. I felt like an investigator,” Brittany Crumpton, Harley’s sister, said. “Your mind just wanted to tell you no, he’s not alive. He’s not alive, but my heart just…something just said he’s alive somewhere and he’s out there.”
Then, a couple weeks ago, they received a call from Texas. Harley had been stopped by an officer late at night because he was walking against traffic. He just so happened to have his old backpack, which listed all of his and his family’s information in case he ever went missing while hunting.
Immediately, Crumpton and her mother, Kim McCourt, made the seven-and-a-half-hour drive. Crumpton said authorities had to let her brother go because he wasn’t committing a crime, so they couldn’t hold him in custody.
They started searching for Harley based on what they last heard. They rented a golf cart, handed out flyers, and patrolled the beach.
To take their minds off of the search, Crumpton and Kim started looking for seashells.
“Me and my mom weren’t paying attention,” Crumpton said.
When Kim’s name was called out, “She looked up, and I just, like, threw all my seashells down, and I was like ‘oh my gosh,'” Crumpton said. “I couldn’t believe it. He was walking down the beach, he had an umbrella, his glasses, and he had a COVID mask on still.”
Harley recognized his family and they reunited with a hug. They treated him with new clothes, steak and everything he needed to make up for missing his 26th and 27th birthdays.
Crumpton said Harley’s memory of getting lost and becoming homeless is still fuzzy. When they returned to Arkansas, he called the 988 mental health hotline.
He was taken to the hospital, and his family visits every day. They say he is improving.
“A lot of his personality traits and stuff are coming out already and he’s started to get back to being happy. We laughed a lot yesterday, so it’s good,” Crumpton said Friday.
On the social media page dedicated to bringing Harley home, Harley’s mother said, “My heart is full again. Thank you all for the prayers and support. We couldn’t have made it through this without all the wonderful people who sent prayers and gave their time on our searches.”
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Kim thanked the Morgan Nick Foundation, Sgt. Jeffrey King of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, and the Quapaw K-9 unit for the help and hope they provided.
The McCourt family said they hope their story gives others with a missing loved one some hope.
“Don’t give up,” Crumpton encouraged. “Keep the face, you know, keep pictures out. Keep it going because someone will see him.”
She said her family hopes to have Harley back home in a couple of weeks. According to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, Harley’s initial disappearance is still under investigation.