RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As the search continues for 23-year-old Lauren Winstead, her friends and family are holding out hope for the best.
Winstead and a group of 11 others went over Bosher’s Dam on the James River on Memorial Day, May 30. Ten people were rescued. However, Winstead and 28-year-old Sarah Erway never came up.
8News spoke with Akita Pitel, who worked with Lauren at the Restore Wellness Center in Henrico. She said her work family is shaken up by the news.
“She has been full of life, so it wasn’t surprising that she was out there enjoying life on the James River,” Pitel said.
“We’re going to find her. Everybody is out there doing their best to search for her.”
On Tuesday, crews from Richmond, Chesterfield and Henrico resumed their search for the missing women — focusing on Bosher’s Dam downriver to Huguenot Bridge.
A family member told 8News that several relatives had traveled from North Carolina to be present, as well.
Social media posts have poured in, offering support and prayers for the families.
A post from Lauren’s dad wrote, “My family needs all the prayers we can get.” He continued, “God, I am begging for a miracle.”
Another person wrote, “Keep the prayers coming! Lauren is such a fighter and I am praying so hard for her to be sitting on the bank when they start the search back up.”
Pitel said that while this is a tough time, family and friends are choosing to remain hopeful.
“Lauren, we’re out there rooting for you, we love you,” she said.
Police said the search will resume Wednesday morning around 7 to 7:30 a.m.