Despite searching by water and by land, emergency officials have been unable to locate a missing Whitley County woman, who was last seen near Williamsburg in February, and police and her family are asking for the public’s help to find her.
“If there is anybody out there that knows anything about my daughter or where she is at, please call me or call the police. Just please find her. I can’t deal with this. This is driving me crazy. I want my daughter,” a tearful Carolyn Anderson said late Friday afternoon about her missing daughter, Laura A. Anderson.
“She has never gone three days without calling me in her life. Never. Never. She knows I worry.”
Laura Anderson, 37, was last seen about 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 11, on Ky. 92W near Pilot Travel Center, and authorities believe that she may now be in Tennessee.
Laura Anderson exited a family member’s vehicle carrying a bag of clothes after an argument that day with family members and a boyfriend.
“We know she was upset at family. We know she was upset at her boyfriend. On the day she left and got out of the car, she did make a statement to the boyfriend that nobody cared about her and she was going to go somewhere where they wouldn’t find her,” said Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird.
Bird said that at this point, authorities still have no reason to suspect foul play.
“We know she was a heavy drug user and she had an addiction problem. We know she didn’t have a cell phone at the time she was last seen. We only know she had a small bag of clothing,” Bird said.
Bird added that there are no outstanding arrest warrants pending against Laura Anderson and police aren’t looking to arrest her. It is just a missing persons case.
“We just want to find her, physically lay eyes on her, and make sure she is OK. Then we are done with it,” Bird added. “People, who use that drug, get paranoid and think the police are looking for them. We are looking for her, but we’re not looking for her to put her in jail though.”
Laura Anderson, who also goes by the name Laura A. Davis, is a white female about 5’3” weighing 120-130 pounds with red hair, blue eyes, a fair complexion and several tattoos, according to police.
Bird said Friday that police believe Laura Anderson may have hitched a ride to Tennessee. There was a possible sighting of her in the Scott County, Tennessee area.
This was based on a report police received from someone in Scott County, who saw the March 14 post on the Williamsburg Police Department Facebook page and saw someone matching her description three or four days prior walking carrying a bag of clothes.
“We have not been able to confirm that the person they saw was her. We wanted to go ahead and put that information out there just in case it was her,” Bird said.
Bird said he thinks it’s very possible that Anderson might have hitched a ride with a truck driver at Pilot.
“With people who go missing that have addiction problems, it makes it a little more difficult to predict their behaviors,” he said. “I am not going to rule it out. I think it is very possible. We are trying to work with Pilot to disseminate her picture to the Pilot Travel Centers just in case she did do that and ended up in another Pilot Travel Center. Hopefully somebody out there will recognize her.”
“Typically in a missing persons case, you have to run the obvious things out first. When you exhaust all those leads, then eventually you have to resort to asking for the public’s assistance and putting pictures out there, and trying to get information any way you can,” Bird said.
Woodbine Fire and Rescue spent about three hours on the Cumberland River Thursday searching for Anderson.
Whitley County Emergency Management Director Danny Moses said that Anderson lives near the Dollar General store, which is located at the intersection of Highway 904 and Ky. 92E, and she likes spending time by the water.
Moses said the search was organized to put Anderson’s family at ease, who were concerned she might have some how ended up in the river.
About half a dozen rescue workers were involved in Thursday’s search, but found no signs of Anderson, Moses noted.
According to Whitley County Detention Center records, Anderson had only been out of jail for 10 days when she disappeared.
She was incarcerated from Nov. 3, 2017 – Feb. 1, 2018, on a contempt of court charge, the detention center’s website indicated.
About two-dozen first responders worked for about three hours Friday afternoon searching the wooded area behind Walmart, the National Guard armory and Pilot in hopes of possibly finding some trace of Laura Anderson.
Soon after the search began, officials located a tent on the hillside about 300 yards or so from Walmart. Clothing found in the tent apparently belonged to a male and female, but police don’t have anyway of knowing whether Laura Anderson had stayed there.
Officials said that homeless people and drug addicts have been found in tents at that location before.
“The reason we are searching this area is because this is the most logical place to search right now,” Bird said Friday. “We don’t have any information specific to this area other than the last place she was seen was about a quarter of a mile from here around the interchange. Right now it is the most logical place to search.”
After ruling out the area around Exit 11 as a place where Laura Anderson may be, Bird said authorities are now relying on tips and information from the public and Laura Anderson’s family.
Anyone with information about Anderson’s disappearance is asked to contact the Williamsburg Police Department at (606) 549-6017.
Agencies assisting with Friday’s search, included Goldbug and Emlyn volunteer fire departments, Williamsburg and Woodbine fire and rescue, Whitley County Emergency Management and Kentucky Emergency Management in addition to Williamsburg police.