Search in Red River turns up no sign of missing Ashdown woman - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Search in Red River turns up no sign of missing Ashdown woman

Divers, a sheriff's office search team and Arkansas Game and Fish agents are now searching that area. Divers, a sheriff's office search team and Arkansas Game and Fish agents are now searching that area.
43-year-old Janis Burris Northcross. (Source: Burris family) 43-year-old Janis Burris Northcross. (Source: Burris family)
FULTON, AR (KSLA) -

The search along the Red River in Miller County for an Ashdown woman missing nearly 3 weeks came up empty once again Thursday. 

Authorities say Janis Burris Northcross, 43, either fell or jumped from an icy bridge on I30 over the river in Fulton, AR early on the morning of January 8. 

Sheriff's officials say a cadaver dog hit on a spot Wednesday in the river that indicates there may be remains. Divers, a sheriff's office search team and Arkansas Game and Fish agents spent Thursday searching that area.

The crews are doing an "arc search," where divers attempt to comb the bottom of the river in the area they believe Northcross' body may be. It's about 7 yards out from the bank. 

After a day of searching with divers, however, Northcross was not found. 

"I am confident that she is in this area," Miller County Police Chief Dewayne White said. "Unfortunately, the Red River moves a lot of sand and silt around, so she may be encased, and that is why we may be missing her."

The water level has dropped 6 to 8 feet since Northcross went into the river, but the visibility underwater is limited to 6 to 8 inches.

White says Thursday's search may be the last for emergency crews, adding they have all but exhausted the resources available to find Northcross' body. Family members say they are not yet prepared to stop searching.

Northcross and Ricky Norwood, 51, were among a group of people standing on the bridge after their vehicles had been involved in a minor wreck due to icy conditions.

Both ended up in the river after they found themselves in the path of an 18-wheeler that jackknifed as it approached the bridge. Norwood was able to make it to the banks of the river and survived.

The active search for Northcross was suspended 5 days after she disappeared from the bridge, although the Miller County Sheriff's Office and agents with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission continued to make periodic patrols.

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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