UPDATE: Emergency crews in South Bend looking for missing woman - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Emergency crews in South Bend looking for missing woman who fell in St. Joseph River

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Rescue crews searching St. Joseph River Rescue crews searching St. Joseph River
Rescue crews search St. Joesph River Rescue crews search St. Joesph River
South Bend emergency crew get report of woman jumping off LaSalle Bridge South Bend emergency crew get report of woman jumping off LaSalle Bridge
Driver's license photo of missing woman, Yolanda Anderson Driver's license photo of missing woman, Yolanda Anderson

UPDATE: 11:20 PM: Twenty-five year old Yolanda Anderson is missing. Witnesses, including her cousin, say they were walking with her near the St. Joe River when she fell in. "No foul play is suspected," said Conservation Officer John Boyd. Conservation Officers have been out on boats searching the river for her since 1:30 Tuesday morning. "We're not only using sonar, but we're also using surface support boats to search all along the St. Joseph River," Conservation Officer Boyd said.

Earlier Tuesday they followed three objects on sonar that could have been a body. They ruled out two and lost track of the third. Conservation Officer Jon Boyd says it's still unclear exactly how Anderson wound up in the water, but he says the current is so strong, the DNR wouldn't even send experienced divers in to search without a solid lead. "Even a few inches of water on a road can move a full sized truck," Boyd said.

Witnesses say Yolanda entered the River at steps near the Colfax Street Bridge, where they were walking around. "I've always got hope that my sister's still alive. As long as she's in my heart she's gonna stay alive," said Lavonne Anderson, Yolanda's sister. Anderson's family came together at the search site and stayed until mid afternoon. "I don't feel like it's real until I see my sister's body," said Lavonne Anderson.

Yolanda Anderson has three children: a 5 year old daughter, a one year old daughter, and a four year old son. Officer Boyd says the search isn't over. "We stop looking when we find her. I mean we'll change tactics-if the sonar doesn't work, we'll switch and try something else, but we will continue to search," Officer Boyd said. Conservation Officers have paused the search for today, but will resume again tomorrow  morning. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------PREVIOUS: 2:45 pm: Conservation Officers are still using sonar to search the St. Joe River for the body of Yolanda, Anderson, 25 of South Bend. Witnesses say they were walking near steps going down into the River with Anderson when she entered the water. Officers say they have not yet confirmed why or how she entered the River.

 Around noon, Conservation Officers pulled a search boat out of the River to refuel it and switched crews. They had been keeping track of three objects, two moving and one fixed, with sonar. They're still looking for one of those objects as well as trying to identify others that could be a body. The Officers have now expanded their search further down the River.

The story is still developing and we'll bring you all the details here, and at 10pm, as we learn more. 


South Bend officials are searching the St. Joseph River after reports of a woman falling off the LaSalle Bridge. Dispatchers got the call around 1:30 a.m. of a woman calling for help near the Colfax St. Bridge. Indiana Conservation Officers say Yolanda Anderson, 25, of South Bend has been identified as the woman who fell into the river. They say she was walking with family and friends when she entered the water for an unknown reason, and is now presumed missing.

A witness to the incident told FOX28 that Anderson was dipping her feet into the river when the current dragged her in. They said Anderson attempted to swim back to the edge but was carried off. A family member told FOX28 they suspected foul play. Conservation Officers say they are not ruling out foul play at this time and are following credible leads, but are currently ruling the incident an accident until facts indicate otherwise.

South Bend Fire Department and Conservation Officers are both conducting searches of the river. Conservation officers currently have two boats deployed: one full of divers and another using "side scan sonar" equipment brought north from Plymouth. Officials identified three objects on their sonar, but have abandoned their focus on two of them. They have also added a drag bar under their boat for a diver to hold onto.

Officials say the current is strong. They are not planning on putting divers in the water unless they have a credible lead.

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