Dive Teams Find Clothes Of Missing Woman In Arkansas River

By: Jason Aubry Email
By: Jason Aubry Email

Update: A Pueblo County dive team along with a couple of swift water rescue teams will begin combing parts of the Arkansas River Tuesday. Detectives say they found some of Beth Rice's personal belongings by the river just before dark on Monday, which is less than a mile from her house.

Mid-afternoon Tuesday, search teams say they found clothing belonging to Rice in the Arkansas River. They say they have now intensified their search.

They'll be doing an extensive search of the river," said Detective Mike Delaurentis of the Florence Police Department. " We'll also have ground searchers doing an extensive search of heavily wooded areas," he said.

The last time anyone saw 49-year-old Beth Rice, was Saturday afternoon. Since then, her family has been worried, investigators have been stumped, and search crews have come up empty.

Monday, a massive search was conducted in the hopes of finding Rice alive. There has been a few leads, but no finds. More than 150 people will search the neighborhoods and surrounding areas near Rice's apartment. Search and Rescue teams from Custer, Pueblo, and El Paso counties have been dispatched.

Two airplanes conducted an aerial search of the banks of the Arkansas River, while bloodhounds and cadaver dogs followed Rice's scent through the streets and fields.

The last time her family saw her was when Rice left their home in Canon City to return to Florence. That was about 2:30 p.m., roughly 30 minutes later a store owner in Florence recalls seeing her make a purchase. At about 3:30 p.m. one of the other tenants in her apartment building says they saw her. Then, around 4 p.m, neighbors down the street from her apartment say, they saw a woman matching her description walking north along the road. The road leads to the Arkansas River, but curves before it reaches it.

No one has reported seeing Rice after that.

Sunday, after Rice failed to show up for church, her family became worried. "If she's not going to be in church she would call family or someone from church and say, hey I'm not going to be in church today for whatever reason. For her not to show up yesterday is very unusual," said Detective Delaurentis.

At 3:30 p.m. Rice's family went by her apartment and noticed her car out front. However, no one answered when they knocked on the door which was locked. After police arrived and let them into the apartment, they found all of Rice's most important items. "Her purse, car keys, cellphone, everything was in order. The apartment was in immaculate condition," says Linda Baldwin, Rice's sister.

Now, everyone is searching for something. Her family is searching for answers, while the authorities are searching for Rice herself. At this point, Detective Delaurentis says they are not ruling anything out.

Rice reportedly participated in a dating service recently and investigators are looking to see if there is a connection. Meanwhile, her sister says that Rice is a timid woman, who had very few friends.

The missing woman may be well known to residents in Florence as she worked at the Canon National Bank just a few blocks from her apartment. Some people have mentioned that she would frequently walk back and forth for lunch, or simply take walks from time to time. This however doesn't seem to match up with what her family believes.

According to her sister, Rice has a problem with her knee and hips. Rice's family was under the impression she did not frequently take strolls, or walk long distances because it would have been uncomfortable for her. Which account is more accurate may never be known, but it has left her family wondering. "We have no idea what to think, no idea," says Baldwin.

Rice is a white woman, 5’1, 180 pounds with short brown hair and green eyes. She also wears glasses. She was last seen wearing a white sweater.

Detective Delaurentis says the family is doing very well. " They're very optimistic, but they're trying to write down anything they can remember that she may have said in the days prior to her coming up missing."

The Florence Police Department is asking if anyone has seen Rice to please contact dispatch or Detective DeLaurentis at 719-784-3411.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 14, 2010 at 02:31 PM
    I hope beth is found safe and sound, I mean its possible that if she started online dating that she didn't want anyone to know therefore she kept it secret and although she does not have a history of disapearing she could have ditched her clothes by the river to put on a pretty dress and go on a nice fun date with this guy and maybe she just wanted to be a little crazy and go to vegas or something. I'm just trying to stay positive here and i really hope she is found safe and sound, maybe even with a little arm candy, if ya know what I mean lol.
  • by Liz Location: Colorado Springs on Jan 14, 2010 at 01:49 PM
    everyone just pray that the police find her or something to help find her today. The family needs closure. right now we're just waiting
  • by Tina Location: Moville on Jan 14, 2010 at 09:11 AM
    Beth is my cousin. I live in Iowa and not there to be a part of the search so I would like to thank everyone who is helping in the search for their time and efforts. It's great to know that there are so many caring people still left in this world. My prayers go out to my Aunt and Unlce and all of family.
  • by Julie on Jan 14, 2010 at 08:25 AM
    I agree. "My Vision" did no harm intentionally and I found "my vision's" thoughts to be very compelling and he/she may be on to something. Time will tell. Let's hope and pray this woman is found.
  • by Anonymous Location: florence on Jan 14, 2010 at 05:01 AM
    to all of you talking down to "my vision" need to leave them alone, there are ppl out there that can fell ppl energy and this "vision" could be very true.. and then again it could be a jk and maybe sadly to say if she was killed the killer talking out. so we all should pray for Beth Rice and let the s&r and law take care of this matter. and that is why Det DeLaurentis has asked for "MY VISION" to call him.
  • by Det DeLaurentis Location: Florence Police Department on Jan 13, 2010 at 06:14 PM
    To My Vision, My name is Detective Mike DeLaurentis, I was advised of your comments on this web site. I would like you to call me so we can talk about your visions, my number is 719-784-3411. If I'am not there leave your name & number and asked dispateh to call me. I am on call 24 hours a day as a detective. Thank you in advance
  • by Anonymous Location: COS on Jan 13, 2010 at 05:21 PM
    Agreeing with Liz. This news station is a bit ridiculous. Jamie found out from his family that his mom is missing. Not on "web channels like KKTV.COM".
  • by Sam Location: Penrose on Jan 13, 2010 at 11:31 AM
    Why don't your report your visions to the Florence PD?? That would probably be more helpful than posting then on a news website
  • by Bill Location: COS on Jan 13, 2010 at 11:08 AM
    If they find this poor woman where "my vision" says...I think we have foul play and its "my vision" the police need to look at!
  • by florence local on Jan 13, 2010 at 10:06 AM
    I do not think that my vision was meaning to offend anyone, I believe that are people out there who see things that all of us may not understand. no need to be so harsh and judgemental. I think everyone hopes to find out the truth about what happened to this poor woman, she is in my thoughts and prayers.
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