BARBOUR COUNTY, W. Va. (WDTV) - UPDATE 02/19/2020 @ 11:33 a.m.
A GoFundMe page was set up to help the family of Jamie Gray.
Jamie L. Gray went missing at Audra State Park on a section of the Middle Fork River, according to Lawrence Messina, Communications Director for West Virginia Division of Natural Resources/Military Affairs. (Photo: Facebook)
Gray was kayaking with nine others when her kayak capsized on Feb 9. She never resurfaced. Her body was recovered Monday by kayakers after the river reopened to the public, West Virginia Natural Resources Police said.
The GoFundMe was set up to help Gray's family financially while dealing with their loss.
UPDATE 02/18/2020 @ 8:30 p.m.
West Virginia Natural Resources Police say a group of kayakers helped find Jamie Gray's body.
In the eight days officers worked to search the location of Gray's initial disappearance and the Middle Fork and Tygart Rivers downstream, nothing was found.
They say they used many resources in the search including underwater cameras.
Police say after the river was reopened to the public, a group of kayakers discovered Gray's body.
Beforehand, the group coordinated with police on what to do if they discovered any evidence in the remote location.
The group discovered Gray's life-jacket and her body located a little further downstream.
Natural Resources Police want to thank those who stepped up to help during the search.
UPDATE 02/17/2020 @ 9:30 p.m.
The body of Jamie Gray, a kayaker who had been missing for over a week, was recovered late Monday afternoon.
Gray's body was recovered 1.5 miles downstream from where she was last seen, according to Lawrence Messina, the communications director for the W.Va. DNR and Department of Military Affairs.
Gray was last seen on February 9th when she went on a kayaking excursion with a group of other kayakers on the Middle Fork River.
UPDATE 02/16/2020 1 p.m.
This account is according to Captian Stephen Antolini of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Police District.
Staring at 7 a.m., a record number of approximately 60 officials from nearby areas such as Bridgeport, Elkins, and Philippi convened at the pavilion command center at Audra State Park.
Today, the officials are going back to the first area where Jamie Lynn Gray was last seen according to the kayakers who accompanied her.
The water is more shallow today, about 4 ft. deep as opposed to 9, as the rain stopped. Officials will go in the water today and put ropes across the river.
Civilians are unallowed in the search party.
UPDATE 02/15/2020 11:15 a.m.
Until further notice, the W.Va. Division of Natural Resources Police is closing access to the Middle Fork River between Audra State Park in Barbour County and the Tygart Valley River.
The DNR Police are bringing in equipment including ropes and cables to assist with the recovery of the kayaker presumed drowned on Feb. 9.
DNR Police hope to resume recovery operations Sunday morning, but continue to monitor water levels and conditions at the site to ensure personnel can re-enter the water safely.
Jamie Lynn Gray, 41, of Hacker Valley, W.Va, was kayaking with a group of 9 fellow paddlers on the Middle Fork River in Barbour County on Sunday, Feb 9. Around 1:53 p.m. while about one half-mile below Audra State Park, Gray's kayak capsized and she was swept downstream. A short distance from where she capsized, Gray was swept under a large rock in the river and never resurfaced. Members of her group attempted to reach where she was last seen but were unsuccessful.
Barbour County 911 was notified, and agencies responding to the scene included DNR Police, W.Va. State Police, Barbour County Sheriff’s Office, the Philippi, Belington, and Junior Volunteer Fire departments as well as additional emergency units from outside Barbour County.
The rugged terrain of the area required responding personnel to cut a path into the area. Search efforts continued for several hours until nightfall.
DNR Police, State Police, and other personnel trained in water rescue and recovery returned to the area on Monday, Feb. 10 to continue the search. Over the course of that day, they encountered worsening weather including heavy rains that caused the river levels to rise. Conditions in that stretch of the Middle Fork became too dangerous conditions for rescue personnel, while shoreline searches were also conducted.
The river level rose even further on Tuesday, Feb. 11. The river gauge at Audra State Park at the time of the incident Feb. 9 measured levels at around 4 feet. It measured levels at nearly 9 feet by Tuesday afternoon, preventing personnel from entering the water at the scene since.
The W.Va. Division of Forestry and the Marion and Monongalia County offices of Emergency Services have offered assistance including multiple drone aircraft and pilots to search the area and downstream from where the incident occurred. Together, seven drones have conducted 18 flights over a 6-mile stretch of the river and surrounding area.
DNR police close several access points to Middle Fork River in preparation for plans to resume their search Sunday.
UPDATE 02/13/2020 @ 9:22 a.m.
We now know the name of the kayaker who went missing Sunday in Barbour County.
Jamie L. Gray went missing at Audra State Park on a section of the Middle Fork River, according to Lawrence Messina, Communications Director for West Virginia Division of Natural Resources/Military Affairs.
Recovery efforts from Search and Rescue crews are still delayed as water levels are still high.
Stay with 5 News as we keep you connected on this developing story.
The search and rescue mission for a missing kayaker at Audra State Park was temporarily halted just after 1 p.m. Monday.
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources officials said they believe they know where the body of the woman is.
"We know that she is in a certain spot down [the Middle Fork River]. Because of the way that the water has risen, and we are predicting it to rise, we are waiting for the rain to stop," said Matthew Rodriguez, the investigating officer from the Department of Natural Resources.
Officials believe the body was likely caught underwater by a boulder.
The search will continue when the water level drops back down.
"We will continue as the weather permits. Once the water levels lower, then we will get back out there and see if we can get her," said Rodriguez.
The victim is still not identified, but some in her kayak group of ten were trained in water recovery.
"In the ten that we know of, there was a few swift water rescue. They were certified in that. They did everything that they could to get her out of there," said Rodriguez.
According to Belington fire department, the woman fell into the river after a kayaking accident Sunday.
According to a press release from the West Virginia Natural Resources Police, West Virginia State Police, and the Barbour County Sheriff's Department fire and rescue crews responded to a report of a kayaker who was swept under a rock and never surfaced on a remote section of the Middle Fork River in Barbour County.
The incident happened around 1:00 p.m. on February 9th.
Crews made it to the scene but couldn't locate the kayaker.
Darkness, the remote location, and water levels made recovery efforts difficult.
The search will resume tomorrow with Natural Resources Police conducting the investigation.
ORIGINAL STORY: 02/09/2020
According to Barbour County 9-1-1 multiple crews are responding to an incident at Audra State Park in Buckhannon.
According to Belington fire department one woman fell into the river after a kayaking accident.
She was with a group of 10 people.
Crews have not yet located her.
5 News has a reporter at the scene. Stick with us for any updates.