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Search for woman's body unsuccessful

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- The search for the remains of 77-year-old Fannie Corley who disappeared in December proved fruitless Thursday.

"I really hate when we don't find the remains," said Albany Dougherty Search & Rescue Commander Chuck Mitchell. "We would really like to bring closure to the family."

Corley was reported missing Dec. 24, 2009, after her car was found on the North Jefferson Bridge above Lake Chehaw. Authorities believe she went over the bridge and into the water.

The search follows other searches that have also been fruitless. An earlier a search had found pants identified by Corley's family as belonging to the missing woman.

Thursday's search was scheduled because the Flint River was down as part of a dam release. The search drew about 75 volunteers including kayak paddlers, recovery divers and two groups with about seven cadaver dogs. Cadaver dogs are specifically trained to find human remains -- not as rescue dogs.

Searchers walked or paddled from the Jefferson Bridge at Lover's Lane Road south to the Georgia Power Dam. At the spillway south of Cox Landing divers plunged into 40-foot-deep waters in front of the spillway. They found nothing.

Mitchell said his team will continue to search as they train and regularly check the river area. Other agencies are expected to do the same.

Dougherty County Police Department Capt. Jimmy Sexton said, "We will probably accompany the Department of Natural Resources rangers from time to time."

Thursday's search included volunteers, the above mentioned organizations and Lee and Dougherty County Sheriff's Office deputies.