RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)– The search for 28-year-old Sarah Erway is now being called a recovery operation, according to Richmond and Henrico authorities. Loved ones and volunteers have joined in to search on their own.
Erway is one of two women who went missing in a group of 12 people, while on the James River on Memorial Day.
On the fourth day of the search, crews transitioned to a smaller team of Richmond and Henrico authorities to search for Erway. Previously, multiple agencies in the state teamed up and spent several days looking for both Winstead and Erway.
Drone video captured by 8News showed where the team of Richmond and Henrico authorities searched, focusing between the Huguenot Memorial Bridge and Pony Pasture.
Alisa Erway is Sarah’s mother. Alisa told 8News that loved ones and volunteers have been searching the area since Monday. She said she has received so much support from all over the country following the tragic news of her daughter.
Volunteers that don’t even know the Erway family have been showing up to search for Sarah.
According to Alisa, volunteers have been sent out to different areas in teams. Some of the groups were praying before they left.
Michelle Tapscott is one of 50 volunteers that met the Erway family and helped search. Tapscott said she drove from the west end of Henrico after her daughter showed her photos of Sarah and Lauren on social media.
“I just thought I can’t imagine as a mom, you know, losing a child, not knowing where your child is,” Tapscott said. “I woke up and I didn’t have anything on the schedule today. I’m just going to go.”
According to Alisa, Sarah was wearing a blue swimsuit when she disappeared.
“We went through the little creeks and were looking for anything unordinary,” Tapscott said. “We had binoculars and were looking for anything blue.”
Tapscott said it was ‘impactful’ to watch the community come together during a time of need.
8News has not received word on whether the search for Erway will continue tomorrow.
This is a developing story.