FREMONT (AP) — Crews towed the overturned car of a missing woman out of a swollen creek Tuesday in Northern California but the 18-year-old’s whereabouts remain unknown, authorities said.
The overturned car was pulled out of Alameda Creek three days after Jayda Jenkins apparently lost control during a rainstorm and plunged into the surging waters, Alameda County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said.
The car had drifted about 100 yards from where it was seen tumbling into the stream, which was so swollen by several days of rain that it had created level 2 or 3 rapids, Kelly said.
“It’s likely that she unfastened the seat belt and tried to get out,” Kelly said, adding that the driver and passenger side windows and the back window were broken out.
Jayda Jenkins’s mother, Denielle Jenkins, said family members and rescuers aided by drones are searching the creek and its banks for her daughter and that she has hope they can find her alive.
“Because I’m her mother, I’m not losing hope. I’m praying that my child is coming home,” Denielle Jenkins said.
The Jenkins spent the weekend walking along the creek, searching for her despite heavy rain. They eventually spotted something that turned out to be a tire and alerted authorities.
The silver 2000 Honda accord was located Monday with the help of a drone carrying a 3D image camera but the raging creek prevented them from reaching it.
Water officials worked overnight to reduce the flow into the creek to help officials reach the car.
According to an accident report by the California Highway Patrol, Jayda collided with another vehicle Saturday morning and the impact made her veer off the road and plunge into the creek.
Jayda is a university student who hoped to become a social worker, her mother said.
“She’s a wonderful student, a beautiful human being,” she said.