HOWARD — Missing since Thursday, Lisa Blubaugh was found Friday night at an Apple Valley residence.
“She’s alive and well,” Knox County Sheriff David Barber told the News Friday night.
Blubaugh was found just before 8:25 p.m. on the deck of a home on Crabapple Drive, fairly close to her home on Lakeview Heights Drive.
“The property owners came here for the weekend and found a woman in a bikini on the back deck,” Barber said.
Blubaugh appeared somewhat incoherent, Barber said, and was transported to Knox Community Hospital by the Eastern Knox County Joint Fire District for evaluation.
Detectives with the KCSO were planning to speak to Blubaugh to get details as to why she disappeared. Details of those conversations were unavailable at press time.
The search for Lisa Blubaugh, 48, of Lakeview Heights Drive, started Thursday night after she was reported missing around 9:30.
She was last seen swimming Thursday afternoon in the cove by her home, prompting local dive teams to search Apple Valley Lake. The Fredericktown Community Fire Department’s dive team was the first to respond to the scene Thursday night.
“We took our boat out, which has sonar on it, and did patterns with the boat,” said Scott Mast, FCFD chief. “Then we put our divers in the water if we saw something that caught our attention. We also sent our divers under the docks to probe around with their hands.”
Barber said the search, which also included a dive team from the EKCJFD, was suspended around 2:30 a.m. Thursday and resumed at 8:30 a.m. Friday.
Divers from the Fredericktown Community Fire Department and Eastern Knox County Joint Fire District were still in the water around 2:30 Friday afternoon. At that time, it was unclear how much longer divers and rescue personnel would be searching at the lake, Lt. David Shaffer of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office told the News.
“We have not had any luck,” Shaffer said Friday afternoon. “[The Ohio State Highway Patrol] was out here with a helicopter and we’ve had the divers in the water and a couple of dogs. We’re going to have one more dog check the area. There’s a possibility she may not be in the water. She may or may not be in there. What we will probably do is, after this dog checks the area, we will probably pull back and wait to see if there’s any other change, or we get a call.”
Shaffer said detectives had talked to Blubaugh’s husband, Jeff, and were checking on leads to see if perhaps Blubaugh left the area. Shaffer said Blubaugh’s vehicle is not missing.
Barber and EKCJFD Chief Larry Stimpert suspended the search early Friday evening as all search avenues in the area had been exhausted.
“The area where the search had been concentrated had been thoroughly searched and evaluated by divers, sonar, cadaver dogs, officers in boats, the shorelines, under the docks had all been searched plus an aerial patrol of the lake by the Ohio State Highway Patrol helicopter,” Barber said.
After stopping the search on the lake, Barber said the next thing to do was to “Hope and pray she was never in the water in the first place.”
It appears prayers were answered in this instance.