Search continues for missing Inverness woman

Carol McHugh, 72, was last seen wearing this walking outfit, the Sheriff's Office said.
PHOTO CAPTION: 
Carol McHugh, 72, was last seen wearing this walking outfit, the Sheriff's Office said.

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office and several other organizations on Saturday continued the search for 72 year old Carol McHugh from Inverness, who was reported missing on Thursday.
 
Search efforts on Saturday were hampered by severe weather with lightning.
 
From Thursday until Saturday, detectives have pursued every lead that has come in to the Sheriff's Office. From a massive foot search using multiple techniques, to aviation flying both day and night, to walking the banks and putting boats on all surrounding waterways - sworn personnel and volunteers have covered more than 23 square miles, which equates to 14,720 acres from the CCSO command center near McHugh's house in Inverness.
 
This does not include all leads at nearby parks, businesses, Rails to Trails, her church -- Our Lady of Fatima -- and even Citrus Memorial Hospital (former employer) that were searched. CCSO detectives have conducted dozens of interviews with neighbors and concerned citizens. 
 
"We have deployed every tool available since we were notified she went missing Thursday night", Sheriff Prendergast said.
 
During the past few days, CCSO detectives and Public Service Officers have handed out hundreds of flyers to nearby businesses and neighbors and scoped out all places McHugh is known to frequent.
 
"Local hospitals and 23 surrounding hospitals, medical transport companies, and taxis have all been checked several times," Prendergast said. "Although the results have been negative thus far, there is still the potential for Carol to show up seeking medical attention. According to her family, Carol was a healthcare professional for her entire career."
 
Sheriff Prendergast and his team have been in constant contact with McHugh's immediate family since she was reported missing, Prendergast said. "I'm the Sheriff for all of our citizens, but I have a family of my own, and I'm cognizant of the fact that Carol is a beloved mother and grandmother to her family," says Sheriff Mike Prendergast. 
 
"Our number one mission is to find Carol safe and return her to her family."
 
The help the Sheriff's Office has received from organizations in surrounding communities has been tremendous, Prendergast said. Pasco County aviation, CERT, Find M Friends, Sumter Corrections K9 Teams, Peace River K9 Search and Rescue Inc., and Nature Coast EMS have all lent teams to help in the search effort. 
 
"We can't thank them enough for their time and effort to help us return Carol safely to her home. We sincerely appreciate every concerned neighbor who has dropped off food, water and other supplies to our Command Post," Prendergast said
 
"Our search efforts will continue tonight and through Sunday. Here is Carol's description again. She is 5'1", 113 lbs. with brown hair. The picture on our FB page is what she was last seen wearing. 
 
On Satuday, the Sheriff said that, as night fell, it has been more than 48 hours since McHugh wandered from her home without food or water.
 
"If anyone has any information regarding Carol McHugh's whereabouts, please call 911 immediately."
 
 
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