One week ago today, Swainsboro beautician Cindy Lynch disappeared. It has been an emotional roller coaster for her family. They've stayed in Thunderbolt waiting for answers. But today may be the toughest day of all, Cindy's birthday.
"She is 43 today," said her brother, Randy Clark. "Not doing the past tense."
So far, search crews and sonar boats haven't turned up any clues to where she might be. There is no celebration for friends or family, including her mom, Joyce Toulson.
"I'd call and sing happy birthday to all my kids. I can't do that today."
Instead, they wonder if Cindy is even still alive. Search efforts have focused on the Wilmington River and nearby basins near the Lynch family boat.
Cindy's brother doesn't think she is in the water. "If you or me fell in the water, no one heard anything, a cry of 'Help me, help me,' I'd say it is very unusual," he said.
Shadows of doubt continued to grow as sonar technology was used to scan the water. But the sonar didn't find anything and even police are second-guessing their search strategy. "Certainly we had our hopes set on that," said Chief Steve Smith of Thunderbolt PD.
Chief Smith says they will continue to investigate all leads, but they're not giving up on the water search. "We are not convinced she is not in the water. But there are other places we are looking."
But the more dead ends turn up, the more Cindy Lynch's family starts to wonder and fear the worst. "Has she been kidnapped? Is she somewhere where she can't be found?" asked Randy. "What happened?"
The sonar boat is back on the water tonight. Also tonight, family and friends will be in Swainsboro for a vigil for Cindy.