As Tropical Storm Karen threatens the Virgin Islands, the search for a missing Kentucky woman has come to a halt.
On Thursday, 48-year-old Lucy Schuhmann was reported missing by the proprietor of the Airbnb where she had been staying in Coral Bay on St. John. Apparently, she had failed to check out on schedule.
Schuhmann had been vacationing alone when she disappeared.
According to Thomas Kelly, a spokesperson for the Virgin Islands National Park, Schuhmann’s belongings were discovered still in her room. Soon thereafter, a search ensued involving multiple agencies.
Both St. John Rescue and the Virgin Islands Police Department began to look for the missing woman. Several drones were even employed in the search.
“Finding Lucy is a top priority,” said park superintendent Nigel Fields.
However, due to the approaching storm, the national park said that the search had to be placed on hold “until the storm passes and conditions allow the effort to safely continue.”
The Search for Schuhmann
Schuhmann’s rental Jeep was found near the southern shoreline of the national park at the Salt Pond parking area. From there, local divers and snorkelers, as well as the US Coast Guard, helped aid in the efforts to locate the woman.
Over the weekend, a daypack belonging to Schuhmann was found on the Ram Head Trail. Unfortunately, however, it offered no real insight into her disappearance.
Though they have requested privacy in the matter, her relatives have been in contact with the park staff. According to People, they and Schuhmann’s friends are “very worried” about her and have set up a Facebook page to share updates.
“Nobody wants to say foul play so we’re just hoping that something comes up,” Sas Nemeth, a volunteer helping in the search, told reporters. “This is very unusual,” he added.
Tropical Storm Karen
The National Weather Service predicted heavy rainfall as well as flash flooding and mudslides on Tuesday. With these warnings in place, the chances of finding Shuhmann have become at least temporarily compromised.
Park facilities were closed both Monday and Tuesday in anticipation of the storm. They will not reopen until weather conditions permit.
With the storm expected to continue impacting the islands, it is unlikely the search will resume today.