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Third-day search ends without success

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY -- The search for 77-year-old Fannie Corley, missing from her Baker Street, Lee County home since Thursday, was suspended at 5 p.m. Saturday, officials said.

After three days of searching, Chuck Mitchell, Albany-Dougherty Search and Rescue commander said the search had failed to find Corley in the water into which she is feared to have jumped or fallen.

"We are scaling back," Mitchell said on Saturday. "We discussed terminating the search but the Albany Fire Department and the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) will be back tomorrow."

Corley disappeared after 6 a.m. from her home. Her teal 1992 Dodge Dynasty was found empty at about 10 a.m. sitting on the North Jefferson Street bridge south of Lovers Lane. Emergency personnel launched a water search.

Searchers added a Georgia State Patrol helicopter survey of the creek and the Lake Chehaw currents and banks Saturday, said Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals. The copter found nothing.

The organizations continuing the search will use sonar and pay attention to the banks along the creek and lake, Mitchell said. The searchers have done and will continue to do a thorough job, he added.

"I'm glad we decided to keep on," Mitchell said. "I hate failure, but with the strong currents her body could have been taken anywhere down the stream."

The search was conducted by emergency personnel with support from the Lee County Sheriff's Office, the Dougherty County Police Department and other agencies during three days. The volunteer search and rescue team gave up their Christmas holidays to help.