Search suspended for Ashdown woman in Red River due to wintry we - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Search suspended for Ashdown woman in Red River due to wintry weather

Posted: Updated: Feb 25, 2014 05:37 AM
MISSING: 43-year-old Janis Burris Northcross. (Source: Burris family) MISSING: 43-year-old Janis Burris Northcross. (Source: Burris family)
51-year-old Ricky Norwood survived the 50-foot leap into the chilly waters of the Red River, and is now recovering at CHRISTUS St. Michael Hospital in Texarkana. 51-year-old Ricky Norwood survived the 50-foot leap into the chilly waters of the Red River, and is now recovering at CHRISTUS St. Michael Hospital in Texarkana.
Search efforts got underway on Saturday but have been halted each day since Monday due to wintry weather. Search efforts got underway on Saturday but have been halted each day since Monday due to wintry weather.
Water temperatures in the Red River are in the upper 30s. Water temperatures in the Red River are in the upper 30s.
FULTON, AR (KSLA) -

The search for an Ashdown woman believed to have jumped or fallen into the Red River to avoid an accident has been suspended until Thursday due to threat of winter weather expected Wednesday.

Search crews resumed the search for 43-year-old Janis Burris-Northcross Monday morning but cold weather halted the search. Temperatures have remained within a few degrees of 30 since Saturday, with water temperatures in the upper 40s. The search was expected to continue until nightfall on Monday, but Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton says weather conditions forced them to suspend the search earlier.

Officials say they will have to wait until the weather improves on Thursday to resume the search. Aside from the discovery of some personal items, there has been no sign of her.

Police say it all started around 2 a.m. Saturday with a wreck on the Red River bridge involving 3 vehicles due to icy conditions. Northcross was 1 of the 3 people who found themselves in the path of a skidding 18-wheeler on the bridge. Northcross either jumped or was knocked off of the bridge by the impact. Her sister, Catherine Burris, managed to stay on the bridge and survived, suffering minor injuries. 

51-year-old Ricky Norwood jumped from the bridge to avoid being hit by the jackknifing 18-wheeler, making the 50-foot leap into the chilly waters of the Red River. Norwood is now recovering at CHRISTUS St. Michael Hospital in Texarkana, with broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Norwood says the impact knocked all of his clothes off except for his underwear and socks. "It was so far down there I closed my eyes when I hit the water I didn't know I hit the water until I open my eyes and I was underneath the water. I prayed to the Lord, 'Please let me make it over here,' and I made it to the bank."

Norwood recalls hearing Northcross calling for help, however, after she hit the water. "One time she said,"Help!" but I couldn't get out there." 

Authorities believe Northcross also leapt in that terrifying moment. While Norwood says he didn't see if she leapt or was knocked off the bridge, her family insists she did not jump willingly. 

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Man found dead in 18 wheeler identified

    Man found dead in 18 wheeler identified

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:34:48 GMT
    The body of an unidentified man was found inside an 18 wheeler, Tuesday night. It happened at the weigh station on Interstate 20 westbound in Warren County. The State Highway Patrol and Warren CountyMore >>
    MDOT enforcement officers went to check out a suspicious vehicle that had not moved all day.
    More >>
  • Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Friday, July 18 2014 3:26 PM EDT2014-07-18 19:26:33 GMT
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer.More >>
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer. Coroner Gary Hargrove said Janaya's body was found in a bathroom.More >>
  • Biloxi approves ballpark construction bid

    Biloxi approves ballpark construction bid

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:53 AM EDT2014-07-23 10:53:07 GMT
    The Biloxi City Council met Tuesday to discuss the next step in seeing the first pitch thrown at MGM Ballpark. The Council pushed forward to approve a construction bid.More >>
    Construction of the new MGM Ballpark in Biloxi could get underway as soon as mid August. The city council met Tuesday to discuss the next step in seeing the first pitch thrown at MGM Ballpark. The council pushed forward to approve a construction bid.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.