Search for missing woman transitions to recovery
ANDERSON, Mo. — Authorities search for a missing Anderson, Missouri woman. Linda Kuykendall was inside a home when it was swept into Beaver Branch late Sunday.
Rescue efforts began yesterday evening, but were called off at nightfall. Crews were back out as soon as day broke this morning.
The call for help came around 8 a.m. Sunday morning when a frantic family reported their home floating away. Everyone inside was rescued successfully aside from one mother. After 24 hours of searching, the Linda’s family is still holding onto hope of a rescue, but officials say they’re focused now on recovery.
“I started seeing my car float away, so I knew I was in trouble. I knew I couldn’t do anything so I handed my baby girl off to the neighbors and he kinda looked at me and said he couldn’t come back and he had to leave,” said Keith Ridpath.
Ridpath recounts the moments his house began flooding.
“I immediately called the cops when the house started flooding. They basically told me they would try to get the boats out as soon as possible and just to hang on, but there just wasn’t enough time,” he explained.
The family was unaware that their house was actually built on top of a swimming pool. When the water started to rise, the foundation was quickly swept away.
“It looks like when the pool filled up, the concrete slab just lifted up and it floated away,” said Ridpath.
Ridpath, his fiance, their two kids and dog escaped, but Ridpath’s mother was lost with the house. Ridpath says communication with officials was murky.
“They were really confused, especially the search and rescue because I kept telling them, ‘There’s somebody still in the house,’ and they’re like, ‘What house?,’ and I was like, ‘Well, it’s gone.'”
Over a hundred people have been out looking for Linda, who could be anywhere.
“They say she could be just a little ways down from where the house was to miles down the river,” explained Seth Daniels, Anderson Chief of Police.
The family is still trying to be optimistic, but with each passing hour, they grow more desperate.
“I feel like she’s alone. I mean I’m doing everything she would do for me,” said Ridpath.
Recovery efforts will continue. At this point, authorities are not releasing the woman’s name until she’s been found.
After losing everything in the flood, the family has set up an account at Arvest Bank for donations under the name: Alexis Peckham Contribution Account.
On July 27, the family plans to host a benefit to raise more funds.
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