‘Holding out hope’ in search of missing Eastlake woman

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PENINSULA, Ohio-- Rescue teams are continuing to search the Cuyahoga Valley National Park for Hillary Sharma of Eastlake.

The 30-year-old disappeared last week. Investigators believe she's somewhere in the park, possibly by the river.

"It's one of the possibilities that she's in the river or near the river. It's one of the possibilities that we're exploring, but you know really we're still looking for a person and holding out hope," said park spokesperson, Jennie Vasarhelyi.

She said the river has been of interest because some of her belongings were found not far from there.

Those items aren't the only sign she's been there. On Friday, her vehicle was found in the parking lot of the Boston Store Visitor Center.

Rescue teams have changed their strategy a lot since then. They've narrowed the search and are now asking for the public's help.

"We're asking experienced river paddlers, if they're available and out on the river between Boston and Station Road, that if they see anything unusual out on the river to let the park service know," said Vasarhelyi.

When she said experienced, she meant it. The river isn't set up for recreation and has low water quality in some areas. There's also a low-head damn that is impassable north of Station Road.

"You know, it's a really wide range of places she could be, so that's why we're asking paddlers and any member of the public if they know anything about her whereabouts to give us clues that can help us refine our search," she said.

Rescue teams will be back at the park on Tuesday.

Read more on the search for Hillary Sharma.

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