Massive search underway for missing 19-year-old

Posted: June 21, 2013 by kirisyko in Water, Whitewater rafting
Tags: , , , , , , ,

There are no new developments in the search for a missing woman in the Warrior River, Blount County officials said Thursday afternoon.

The Blount County Sheriff’s Office is carrying out a massive search for 19-year-old Allysa Huffstutler, a woman who went missing while white water rafting with friends on Wednesday.

Huffstutler is a junior at the University of Alabama. Friends say she is a member of the AOPi sorority at Alabama.

The search began on Wednesday evening after a group of people were white water rafting on the Warrior River. Some people lost their rafts and the group found that one of numbers was missing. Around 6 p.m., crews began their search.

Thursday, crews began searching the Warrior River in two different locations near the Cleveland area, King’s Bend and Swann Bridge. Dive teams from Hoover, Jefferson County and Trussville are assisting, as well as the Cullman County Sheriff’s Department.

State Troopers are using an infrared helicopter to search, but have not seen any heat along the river and can’t use infrared in the thick woods nearby. Hundreds of volunteers are helping search for Allysa from their boats and by walking the river banks.

Staton says Huffstutler’s family is staying hopeful that she is unharmed.

“We’re holding out hope that she’s okay. She was a certified scuba diver and she’s also a trained lifeguard,” said Staton.

Around 3 p.m., the Blount County Sheriff Larry Amerson said there were no new developments in the search. Rescuers working from three different staging areas say they will plan on searching until dark.

A group called “Prayers for Allysa Huffstutler” has formed on Facebook. Group members have posted that a prayer meeting for Allysa will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Oneonta High School football field. Allysa graduated from OHS.

Another prayer meeting is planned for 6:15 p.m. at the football field of J.H. Pennington High School in Blountsville.

 

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