Search curtailed; authorities not giving up

Published 4:16 pm Thursday, January 21, 2016

The teams and dogs are gone, but the search for Kathleen Williams continues.

The hundreds who scoured chunks of the county for nearly two weeks are gone, but family, friends and local authorities still want to know what happened.

Local officials said last week the investigation and search are still ongoing, but the use of search and rescue resources was suspended until new clues are identified.

Now, everyone is just left with questions.

Williams, 53, went missing on Saturday, Jan. 2, walking out of her family’s 10th Street home between 3-5 p.m. while her husband was gone to the grocery store. When he left, she appeared to be asleep, Phillips said. She left without even taking her purse. She also left her special-needs son alone.

She was not widely known, so maybe that is why no one saw how she left or what direction she went. No one, it seems, saw anything.

Authorities noted there is no sign of foul play and she never said anything about hurting herself.

“I can’t assume she’s done anything, really,” Victoria Police Chief Keith Phillips said a few days into the search. “We’re (just) looking for her.”

The search for her quickly grew from friends and family to – in the last days — one that involved 100 people. Dog teams, trackers, ground teams, and equine teams would be involved. Areas around several bodies of water were searched.

Victoria Police efforts were supplemented by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Lunenburg Sheriff’s Office, the Kenbridge Police Department, Nottoway Sheriff’s Office, and numerous search and rescue organizations from around the state and local emergency services personnel.

The last few days of the active search was coordinated by Virginia Department of Emergency Management Search and Rescue leaders with operations based out of Victoria Fire and Rescue.

“Methodical searches were planned based on known information to attempt to locate Mrs. Williams,” Rodney Newton, chief of the Victoria Fire and Rescue Department and interim town manager in training explained at the time. “As the search continued the search area expanded from the area immediately around the residence to an approximately two-mile radius around the residence.”

That was then.

Now, all Newton can report: “Nothing (new) that I am aware of.”