It has been two weeks since she disappeared, and authorities have no firm leads on the whereabouts of Marilane Carter.
Marilane, 36, seems to have basically disappeared around West Memphis, Arkansas, the night of Aug. 2.
A 2008 graduate of Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School and wife of Adam Carter, pastor of Leawood Baptist Church in Leawood, Kansas, Marilane left her home around 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1. She said she was headed to Birmingham and decided to drive through the night to get there, according to police and family sources.
She had only made it to West Memphis, Arkansas, by the next night when her phone seems to have been turned off around 8 p.m.
Adam said he talked to her at 7:45 p.m. on Aug. 2 and she sounded a little confused but noted she was about to cross the I-55 bridge over into Tennessee.
“We’ve made that trip so many times, she’s got to know the route,” he said.
Family is ‘worried sick’
Overland Park PD detective Blake Larsen said during an Aug. 14 press conference that investigators have no reason to suspect criminal activity in Marilane’s disappearance.
“There is no reason to believe criminal activity is afoot, and there is no evidence that anything nefarious has happened,” Larsen said.
Investigators are “simply trying to help the family locate Marilane Carter and bring her back to her children, her husband, her parents — they’re all worried sick about her,” he said.
Larsen said investigators are using credit card, cell phone and video surveillance information to track Marilane’s path from Overland Park. Her family believes she was on her way to Birmingham to visit family and possibly seek psychiatric care from UAB hospital where she once served as a pastoral chaplain.
Many civilians and “good Samaritans” are helping in the search. Posts at the “Find Marilane” Facebook page said volunteers have been using sonar to scan large areas of the Mississippi River near the last location recorded by Marilane’s cell phone. That sonar imagery is being analyzed, the Aug. 13 report said.
The search for Marilane covers several states from Kansas to Alabama and includes the West Memphis Police Department, Memphis Police Department, Marion (Arkansas) Police Department, Arkansas State Police, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, as well as agencies from Missouri, Mississippi and Alabama.
Family grateful for help
“The family extends debts of gratitude to all of these agencies,” according to the Facebook post.
Adam Carter also thanked TAB Media for continuing to update his wife’s story. He was in Kansas City to celebrate the couple’s 3-year-old daughter’s birthday on Aug. 17 but plans to return to Birmingham Aug. 19 to continue the search for his wife.
Volunteers have distributed thousands of missing person flyers in Memphis and surrounding areas, as well as to truck drivers.
Larsen said Marilane’s case is different than most other missing person cases because her activity seemed to stop at once.
“This is a unique and strange case,’’ he said. “Everything just stopped at a certain time.”
He said, “It’s been a tough two weeks,” and that investigators will continue the search as long as they are getting new leads and valid tips.
“What we learned from the family, it’s urgent to try to find her,’’ Larsen said. “We are keeping our fingers crossed … that we find her alive and well.”
Help find Marilane
Marilane is 5′ 8″, 130 pounds, brown hair, green eyes and was driving a 2011 dark gray GMC Acadia with a Kansas tag — 194LFY.
Please call 205-390-1003 if you have any information or 911 if she is found.
Updates as well as a downloadable poster (posted below) are available on the Find Marilane Facebook page.
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