Scotty Barker, 42, a former El Dorado resident was killed on Dec. 3 in a hit-and-run in Columbia County, Detective Leroy Martin said.
Martin, chief detective at the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, said the Arkansas State Police were the first agency to respond. He said Barker's remains were discovered around 6:30 a.m. that Saturday, five or six miles east of the city limits of Emerson, in Columbia County.
Martin said on Wednesday the CCSO is currently investigating the incident as a hit-and-run and the agency has "had a few tips" but hasn't made any arrests yet.
"Every unattended body that is found, we always send it off and investigate it as a homicide," Martin said. "We believe it's a hit-and-run until we find out something otherwise."
Jesse Barker, the victim's uncle, said his nephew is survived by his eight children who are between the ages of two and 20.
"He was a good father and he had a big heart," Jesse Barker said, noting that his nephew previously coached Little League in El Dorado. "He loved kids."
Jesse Barker said his nephew lived in El Dorado up until about five years ago; Scotty Barker had been house-sitting or visiting friends in the area he was killed, he said.
Scotty Barker attended Barton Junior High, where he played football, before attending high school in Haynesville, Louisiana, where his uncle is from.
He would have turned 43 on January 10, Jesse Barker said. He said he hopes whoever hit his nephew comes forward.
"Please turn yourself in to help us get some closure on it," he said.
Jesse Barker said their family is struggling to pay for his nephew's funeral expenses. Two Go Fund Me online fundraisers have been set up to accept contributions towards Scotty Barker's funeral expenses: one is accessible at gofundme.com/f/scotty-barkers-funeral and the other is at gofundme.com/f/evupb-funeral-expenses.
Jesse Barker also said contributions can be made directly to Bailey Funeral Home in El Dorado, which is overseeing his nephew's service.
A visitation is scheduled for this Saturday, Dec. 17, starting at noon at the funeral home.
"We'll always miss him. We loved him," Jesse Barker said.