Search for Kelsey Starling enters 5th day, challenges emerge


TROY, Ala. (WIAT) — The search for Kelsey Starling entered its fifth day Tuesday. Starling has been missing since July 4 after a boating accident on Smith Lake.

Despite authorities’ best efforts, challenges have emerged making the search for Starling all the more challenging.

Jeff Tolbert, the general manager of Trident Marina located near Smith Lake, says he has seen searches like this one take up to a month to find anything.

“The lake is so challenging from a recovery standpoint,” Tolbert said.

Other challenges that have made the search even more difficult include the fact that the area they are searching ranges from 80 to 200 feet.

Trees in the lake are also another issue.

“When you have a pine tree that is sticking up 100 plus feet tall in the bottom of the lake, it’s very easy for an object to get lodged,” Tolbert said.

Sonars being thrown off from the trees can also happen.

The search has concluded for today. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says they will be back out Wednesday to continue the search.

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