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Active search winding down for missing Lee County woman

ALBANY -- Boaters were back in the waters near Lake Chehaw on Wednesday, searching for any sign of a 77-year-old woman whose car was found abandoned on a nearby bridge Christmas Eve morning.

Searchers have combed the creeks and tributaries of the Flint River for more than a week, using cadaver dogs, a small flotilla of boats and high-tech sonar arrays in an effort to locate the woman.

Albany Fire Chief James Carswell said that the active search for Corley will likely wane over the coming days, but that firefighters will continue to search the banks along Lake Chehaw, Lake Worth and Flint River in the coming weeks.

"The cold temperatures have really been an issue, in terms of water temperature and the typical process associated with this type of recovery effort," Carswell said. "We'll continue looking along the banks."

Both state and local authorities have invested hundreds of man-hours searching for Corley with little results.

Monday, a cadaver dog in a boat signaled a possible hit near the Philema Road Bridge, which prompted search and rescue officials to call in divers.

But a strong current coupled with fading sunlight abbreviated the search.

Tuesday, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources brought in a $50,000 specialized side-scan sonar device to map the area where the dog had signaled, but Carswell said that nothing of any substance turned up.