Search continues for missing woman

By Abby Morris
Star Staff
amorris@starhq.com

   The search for an Elizabethton woman who has been missing since Sunday night continued on Tuesday as rescue workers searched the river close to the location where her vehicle was located.
   Members of the Carter County Rescue Squad's Swift Water Rescue Team and other emergency personnel searched the Watauga River for Kristal Gale Dubuque, 21, 427 W. G St., Apt. 11, from the Hunter bridge to the River Bend community below Grindstaff Chevrolet.
   According to CCRS Director Terry Arnold, a total of 19 emergency workers participated in the search for Dubuque, including a helicopter pilot. "We contacted THP (Tennessee Highway Patrol) and they brought a helicopter in from Fall Branch and they did an aerial search of the area."
   Arnold said rescue workers did not find any evidence that Dubuque had been along the banks of the river where they searched. "We've exhausted our search until we receive further notification from the Sheriff's Department about what they want us to do," he said.
   According to police reports, Dubuque was reported missing by her mother, Brenda Gale Gentry, 220 S. Sycamore St, who told Elizabethton Police Department Sgt. Jack Ramsey that Dubuque had been missing since approximately 10 p.m. Sunday night. "She said she'd been in contact with Dubuque's employer, who she identified as Bob Miller," Ramsey said. "She said that Miller told her that he had dropped Dubuque off at her car, which was parked at the Sunoco on Highway 91, subsequent to her assisting him on a surveillance on Blue Springs Road." Dubuque's vehicle is a red 1988 Chevrolet Nova.
   Gentry told Ramsey that her daughter's infant son was in the care of Dubuque's roommates -- David Dwayne WIlliamson and Jessica Putnam -- and that Dubuque often left her son in their care.
   Ramsey said a vehicle matching the description of the one Dubuque was driving was discovered Monday morning shortly before 8 a.m. and had been reported to the Carter County Sheriff's Department. "The vehicle was found nose-in to the Watauga River at the Hunter Bridge on Broad Street Extension," Ramsey said. "County Deputy Jan Black responded to the scene and found the vehicle was running in gear with the driver's side door closed and the driver's side window down.
   "She told me that the door was closed and that there was no one around the car when she recovered it. She further advised that there were no signs of violence within the vehicle."
   According to Ramsey's report, Dubuque's wallet was found in the glovebox of the vehicle, and it contained her social security card but not her driver's license.
   The Elizabethton Police Department and the Carter County Sheriff's Department are handling the investigation, according to EPD Capt. Mike Peters who works with the EPD Criminal Investigations Division. "We got involved because the missing persons report was filed in our jurisdiction," Peters said. "We're assisting the county with the information we've got."
   After responding to the scene, Ramsey spoke with Gerald Williamson, father of Dubuque's roommate David Dwayne Williamson, who was at the scene speaking with Black. "He (Gerald) told me that Dubuque's employer, Bob MIller, had called (David) Dwayne at approximately midnight and asked if she had arrived safely," Ramsey said in his report. "According to Gerald Williamson, Miller called several times through the night and told them that he had already checked through Lynn Valley and that they did not need to look in that area. Gerald Williamson stated that he had looked anyway, but did not think to check around the bridge where the car was actually found."
   Dubuque was last seen wearing a dark blue "Nike Air" sweatshirt and blue jeans.
   According to Peters, investigators are considering the possibility that Dubuque's disappearance may be related to a reported abduction and rape that occurred in the city early Sunday morning. Apparently, a city woman told police she was abducted then driven to a remote location and raped by a man who identified himself as a law enforcement officer. "Right now we don't know whether they are related or not," Peters said. "We've got some leads we are checking out on both of them."