NASHVILLE, Aug 2 (AP) ---Jim Reeves, 39 years old, the country music singer, and a companion were found dead in the wreckage of a private, single-engine plane 10 miles south of here today.
Mr. Reeves' body was identified from a driver's license taken from the wreckage. The other victim was believed to be Mr. Reeves' pianist and road manager, Dean Manuel, 30.
The plane crashed Friday night on a return trip from Batesville, Ark. John Kane, a Tennessee highway patrolman said the plane was demolished. The engine was partly buried. The plane crashed in a wooded area just off U.S. 31. There was some evidence of fire in the wreckage.
The bodies were taken to a Nashville funeral home. More than 700 volunteer searchers, civil-defense workers and policemen covered a 20-square-mile area for two days. Military, state and private planes also searched the area.
Many of the searchers were Mr. Reeves' friends and associates in the country-music business. They included Chet Atkins, the guitarist, and Eddy Arnold, Stonewall Jackson, and Ernest Tubb, the singers.
Mr. Reeves turned to music when he suffered an arm injury in spring training with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. The former "Grand Old Opry" star recorded a number of popular songs, including "Four Walls," "He'll Have To Go," and "Mexican Joe." He recently was star of a movie, "Kimberly Jim," filmed in South Africa and just released in this country.