Crews find kayak near dam in search for missing woman

TROUP COUNTY, Ga. — Crews expect to step up their search efforts Sunday for a recent college grad who vanished from a local campground.

The woman’s heartbroken mother is asking the community for help in trying to find her daughter, Miranda Whitten, 24.

She disappeared while kayaking on a camping trip with her family in Troup County on Friday.

Channel 2's Michael Seiden spoke with investigators and family members who spent the day Saturday searching for the young woman.

“Just let someone know that you’re alive. That’s all we want to know. We just want to know that you’re safe and you’re OK and you’re alive Miranda,” was Tabby Whitten’s message to her daughter.

The mother broke down in tears Saturday night as she tried to explain to Seiden what makes her daughter so special.


“She’s a good girl and she’s always been a good girl. She just graduated from Auburn," Tabby Whitten said. “She’s just a wonderful girl. She really is. She's just got such great potential and I know she’s going to go far in life.”

The Troup County Sheriff's Office said the Valley, Alabama, native was on a family camping trip at Shaefer Heard Park when she disappeared Friday afternoon while kayaking on West Point Lake.

“Around 12:30 p.m. some campers saw her kayaking out in the water, and shortly after that a storm came through and around 2:30 yesterday her kayak was seen floating into the water with the paddle and the life jacket," Sgt. Stewart Smith with the Troup County Sheriff's Office told Seiden.

Since then, no one has seen or heard from the recent college graduate.

On Saturday, investigators from the sheriff's office and the department of natural resources combed the waters looking for any signs of life.

“Nobody saw her get out of the boat. We don’t know if she got out of the boat and swam to shore. Maybe walking somewhere,” Smith said.

For Miranda’s family, the waiting game is excruciating. But if anyone can survive this, her loved ones believe she has what it takes.

“We’re praying. We are praying so hard,“ Tabby Whitten said. “She’s kayaked all her life. She’s a hiker and she’s very active. It just don’t make sense. It don’t make sense. It just don’t.”

Anyone with information on Whitten's whereabouts is asked to call the Troup County Sheriff's Office at 706-883-1700.