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Police: Missing Johnson City woman possible homicide victim

Staff reports • Oct 2, 2012 at 4:34 PM

A search for the body of a missing Johnson City woman who may have been killed is being conducted near the Butler Bridge in Carter County, according to authorities.

Johnson City police Capt. Mike Street said the Carter County Sheriff's Department is leading the effort to locate Vonda Berry Marshall Donaldson, 28, who was last seen Saturday after her father’s wedding when she dropped her children off with their dad.

According to a news release from Johnson City police, Donaldson may have been killed.

Acting on information received on Monday that Donaldson's body was dropped from the Butler Memorial Bridge across Watauga Lake, the Carter County Sheriff's Department began working with the Johnson City Police Department in its search.

On Tuesday morning, the Carter County Rescue Squad launched its rescue boat, which is equipped with sonar and began making broad sweeps of the section of the lake downstream from the bridge.

Chief Deputy Ron Street was aboard the boat during the early part of the search. Although it was a windy day, the boat appeared to be having no problems in searching the mountain rimmed lake.

After conducting the broad sweep, Street left the boat and the rescue squad continued making more localized searches of the lake. Street said the sonar is a more effective and less labor intensive method of searching for a body than the old dragging operations.

The squad continued to search throughout the afternoon under favorable weather conditions.

Charges are pending, according to the Johnson City police news release.

Keep checking JohnsonCityPress.com for more information.

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