JACKSON, Ky. (FOX 56) – The Wolfe County Search and Rescue brought together almost a dozen agencies to search the riverbanks for anything that would lead them to the whereabouts of Vanessa Baker.

Baker is the last missing person from the historic flooding that hit eastern Kentucky last July.

170-man hours have been dedicated to the search which started in late August. Kentucky State Police said the hardest part is still not being able to give the family closure even after covering so much ground.

“Just coming up empty-handed, you know, searching time and time again and not finding anything of value,” said Trooper Matt Gayheart.

Almost 200 people searched 12 miles of the North Folk Kentucky River in Breathitt County Saturday, looking for any signs of Vanessa Banks from an article of clothing to keys, to human remains.

“You know, it started with over a thousand people initially right after the floods and now we’re down to one person remaining. It is our responsibility to make sure that those people are found and that the families get the closure that they deserve,” said Gayheart.

The historic floods brought a lot of moving water down the Kentucky River and with it, a lot of debris from hundreds of homes followed.

Kentucky State Police said it’s important their search is thorough, looking under everything piece of debris as they continue to search more land stopping at nothing to bring Vanessa Baker home.

“So, we’ll just kind of look at the area, see what potential are next to search is. We may have to broaden that search out a little more. We just don’t know at this time, it’s something we’re still trying to put together, but there’s a lot of technology and resources that we’re utilizing that we’re hopeful will give us some type of clue on where to look next,” added Gayheart.


The search will continue until Vanessa Baker is found and everyone involved desperately wants to bring the Baker family closure.

As Wolfe County Rescue heads back to the drawing board, Kentucky State Police told me that many of the people involved are volunteers and because of their time and effort, these agencies have been able to cover so much ground.

The search will continue in Breathitt County once the agencies decide on where to search next.