Search begins on Mississippi River for trace of missing Kansas woman

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The family of a missing Kansas woman is reaching out to the public in the Memphis area for help.

Marilane Carter hasn’t been seen in over a week and her family fears she may have crashed into the Mississippi River on her way to Birmingham.

A number of volunteer boaters hit the water Thursday and a search and rescue team is expected to arrive Friday with high-powered sonar equipment. They are searching the river around the I-40 and I-55 bridges for any trace of Carter or her vehicle.

Marilane Carter was captured on video at a West Memphis gas station.

Newly released surveillance video shows Carter at a gas station in West Memphis around 5 p.m. Aug. 2, the day before she disappeared. She stopped to fuel up, went inside with a cup to get some water and then left in her SUV.

Her brother-in-law Brady McLaughlin says it was the last time she used her credit card. He said the last time anyone talked to her was about three hours later, and she was still in the West Memphis area.

McLaughlin said he and his wife live in Birmingham, and Carter once worked at a hospital there. He said that is why she felt comfortable coming to Alabama seeking help.

When he spoke to his sister-in-law, he said she seemed lost.

“She seemed disoriented and confused. She said earlier in the day she has been traveling on dirt roads,” McLaughlin said. “Which you and I both know, that’s not a normal thing to travel on dirt roads when you are traveling between two major cities.”

Carter’s family members say she is a mother of three small children, one who is turning 3 years old on Monday. They say she was en route to the Birmingham to seek mental health treatment.

Additionally, the family said she was less than two miles from the river when her phone last pinged, and the last phone called was made around 8 p.m., before her phone went dead.

Boaters searched the river between I-40 and I-55 on Thursday. (submitted photo)

While local law enforcement is working on the case and have searched the land near Big River Crossing, they have not searched the water.

That hasn’t stopped her family from calling for volunteers to search the river.

“We love you Marilane. Your family loves you,” McLaughlin said. “We are ready for you to just let us know you are safe. Let us know you are safe. And if you know where Marilane is, please let the police know.  We are just trying to make sure she is safe and get her home to her kids.”

If you would like to help in the search effort, click here to sign up.

Marilane Carter (submitted photo)

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