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home : news : local   May 24, 2016

4/26/2013 1:50:00 AM
Search suspended for missing woman

The search for Nancy Greening (in red) has been suspended until floodwaters recede along Route 351 south of La Salle.
+ click to enlarge
The search for Nancy Greening (in red) has been suspended until floodwaters recede along Route 351 south of La Salle.
Tom Collins
NewsTribune Senior Reporter

Authorities have suspended the search for a missing Peru woman until the Illinois River fully recedes to normal levels.
Conservation police Sgt. Robert “Hank” Frazier said the search party halted its efforts Thursday evening after failing to recover 62-year-old Nancy Greening.
“We had no luck,” Frazier said. “We’re going to have to wait until the water comes down and do a land search after it dries out.”
Frazier said the search team has exhaustively searched an area near the Shippingsport Bridge where Greening’s white van was spotted in an aerial photograph.
Frazier said the search would resume, but not until after floodwaters receded to expose land and wooded areas that are underwater. He estimated that could be anywhere from a week to 10 days.
Greening was reported missing April 19, the same day an airborne NewsTribune photographer snapped a photo of a white van in a flooded area near the Shippingsport Bridge on the La Salle side of the Illinois River. A call was immediately placed to La Salle police, recorded at 3:26 p.m.
However, a 24-hour lag occurred between the report and when the search was launched Saturday afternoon, the result of an apparent misunderstanding between agencies. A La Salle police officer was dispatched to look for the vehicle but was unable to spot it from any vantage point.
An Oglesby police officer then attempted to find the van and did see an AT&T employee — but did not see an AT&T van, as first reported by the NewsTribune — resulting in a mistaken report that it was a utility van seen from the air.
“Everyone came to the conclusion that the AT&T employee was the vehicle referenced by the airplane,” La Salle police chief Rob Uranich said previously. “It wasn’t until the next day we were able to locate the vehicle.”
The next afternoon, Uranich said, a La Salle police officer viewed the aerial photo depicted on the NewsTribune website and thought he could better pinpoint the location on foot.
With floodwaters somewhat receded, he and other officers were able to identify the van using special police optical equipment. Immediately, the officer contacted state police to conduct a boat search.
Frazier said in a subsequent release that Greening had apparently “driven around the closed road barricades into flood waters on Route 351 between the Illinois River and the (Illinois and Michigan) Canal.”

Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or

Related Stories:
• Friends, family release balloons for missing woman

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