Missing Paola woman found deceased in submerged vehicle

By Brian McCauley
Miami County Republic – October 12, 2018

A 78-year-old Paola woman who had been missing since the morning of Oct. 10, was found Friday, Oct. 12, deceased in her vehicle that had been submerged in floodwaters.

Miami County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched Friday morning to Hospital Drive south of 327th Street for a vehicle in the water. The floodwaters had receded, showing the roof of a silver passenger car, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

The vehicle, a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu owned by Hazel Phillips, was removed from the water, and her body was found with the vehicle, according to the release.

The cause of the death is still under investigation.

Miami County was inundated with heavy rainfall Oct. 6-8, causing widespread flooding throughout the region.

Local law enforcement officers and community members had been searching for Phillips since she went missing the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 10.

When Phillips last spoke with family members in the evening hours of Tuesday, Oct. 9, she reportedly told them she would be going to Drexel, Mo., in the morning hours of Wednesday, Oct. 10. She was last seen headed that way around 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10.

Capt. Matt Kelly said investigators tried to ping Phillips’ cell phone, but it was dead.

Kelly said other local law enforcement agencies joined in the search, and drone footage of the local area was reviewed for possible clues that could lead to her whereabouts.

The search had extended far beyond the borders of Miami County. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation issued a statewide Silver Alert for Phillips on Thursday, Oct. 11.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
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