Police: Missing Woman Presumed Drowned

Published On: Sep 09 2011 05:11:19 PM PDT   Updated On: Apr 05 2011 06:46:39 AM PDT
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A search for a woman who was reported to have slipped and fallen into the Spokane River early Monday evening has been unsuccessful and officials are saying she?s presumed drowned.

Monday evening Lisa Wapato was out on her balcony when she saw the woman tumble into the Spokane River.

?All I seen were [sic] her feet slip on the black tarp over there and fall. All I saw was her feet and her hands,? Wapato said.

Other witnesses who could see what was happening were standing on the opposite shoreline and could only offer words of encouragement and call 9-1-1.

?She was up and my mom said ?Stay up lady? and all of a sudden she was paddling a little bit and then she stopped and like I don't know after that,? witness Theo Marlatt said. ?She was mumbling she was so scared. She was pale in the face.?

Spokane Police responded to 9-1-1 calls, while the Spokane Fire Department launched its rescue boat in the swift current while Air-1 was brought in to use its search light to help find the woman. The woman was never found.

The Marine Unit resumed their search at 9 a.m. Tuesday but have not found anything.

?The fire department has their boat out and some divers near the bank. We unfortunately haven't been able to find anybody,? Lieutenant Joe Walker with the Spokane Police Department said.

Witnesses described the woman as a white female with black hair and appeared to be in her mid 30s.

?She was wearing a black trench coat, she had long hair that went to mid-back because it went over her coat and she was wearing black boots over jeans.? Lisa Wapato said. ?It was sad, scary.?

The City of Spokane issued a warning Tuesday morning that residents use extreme caution along the river. The Spokane River, which is running high and fast, is near flood stage and warm temperatures are expected later in the week.

Upriver Drive, from the Riverview Apartments east to Greene Street, and Peaceful Valley are the areas most at risk for flooding.