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Search Continues for Missing Woman

Police have found no trace of suspected bridge-jumper, ask public for help.



Update Jan. 27:

A woman initially suspected of committing suicide by jumping from the Powhite Parkway Bridge into the James River Monday has been identified as a missing person by the Richmond Police Department.

The woman, Jill Luberta Edmonds, is described in an e-mail advisory distributed by the police department as a 40-year-old black female who is 5-feet-4, weighs 157 pounds and has straight, shoulder-length, black hair. According to the release, an “extensive search of the river and the riverbanks by Richmond police officers and firefighters, with the assistance of the Virginia State Police helicopter, turned up no trace of her.”

A search of the immediate vicinity by the state police helicopter and city police and fire department officials appeared to be called off several hours after the fire department was informed of the issue at 12:26 p.m. Monday.

Edmonds' gray Mitsubishi sedan had been found parked beside the northbound side of the Powhite Parkway bridge. According to Lt. Shawn L. Jones, a spokesman for the Richmond Fire Department, members of Edmonds' family looked for her after being informed that Edmonds had not showed up to work that day. The family was later taken to the police department's 3rd Precinct offices for questioning.

A spokesperson for the police department says she cannot release any additional details about whether police are continuing to search the river, which was measured today at six feet above flood level.

The fire department's Lt. Shawn L. Jones says the fire department is “not deploying any more resources right now to the river unless we get a sighting for her.”

Police are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

Breaking Jan. 25:

Police and fire officials are still attempting to locate a woman who may have committed suicide by jumping from the Powhite Parkway bridge Monday.

A Richmond Police officer contacted the Richmond Fire Department at 12:26 p.m. after finding the woman's gray Mitsubishi sedan parked on the northbound side of the Powhite bridge. The woman's name hasn't been released.

“Her car was there but no body,” says Lt. Shawn Jones, a spokesman for the Richmond Fire Department.

A police helicopter, along with fire and rescue teams, began searching for the woman early this afternoon but have since called off the rescue effort. The woman's family says she has attempted suicide before, says Jones, who couldn't provide further details.

“Pretty much at this point we're at a standstill,” Jones says.

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