July 16, 2014
Police suspended the search on Carter Mountain for a woman missing since Saturday.
After spending days on the mountain looking for signs of Bonnie Santiago, they call off that phase of the search.
This morning’s search focused on some of the ground that they had previously covered to make sure they didn't miss anything.
But after coming up empty handed the crews had to admit it was time look somewhere else to find out what happened to her.
Albemarle Sheriff Chip Harding says they've looking in ponds, repeatedly searched through vegetation with over a hundred volunteers.
"It’s the feeling that we've searched all the probably areas and multiple times with dogs. And that we've gone beyond probable areas and have searched now improbable areas, but it’s time to wind that down."
Sheriff Harding says they were actually able to call off the search earlier than they originally anticipated.
"We had more people than we originally thought we were going to get and were able to cover the ground much faster."
But her family wasn't ready to hear it.
Bonnie's daughter Gabrielle Adams says she's not ready to see the search on the mountain end.
"I want them to find my mom. I think she's still up here and there's no way she's getting off this mountain. No way. And I just want her to be found."
Lieutenant Tim Aylor says the case now turns to focus elsewhere.
"So we can eliminate that and move on to the next step. We are asking for the help of the public. Call if you see her or if you've seen her in the past couple of days. But also to follow up on any leads that we have the public does call on cases like this."
Her family has been keeping vigil on the mountain throughout the search. Investigators are calling it a missing person case at this point not a criminal investigation. She was last seen with her boyfriend, who lives near the mountain. Her family says they have only met him once.
Bonnie's daughter has a message for her mom. "Please mom if you see this, I want you to come home."
Santiago is about 5' 4, she weighs 175 pounds. She has brown eyes and brown hair. We've also been told she has a history of a heart condition. Her family is asking if you have seen anything, or have any idea where she could be to call Crimestoppers at 977-4000.