WEBER COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — The search for Libby Stimpson, 28, a woman believed to have fallen into the Weber River on May 1, continues with full force this week. The community continues to show its support by volunteering for river watch shifts 24 hours a day, and the sheriff’s office is hopeful that recovery may be possible this week.   

Signs that read: “Pray for Libby,” flowers and ribbons line the Weber River near Uinta as a show of support for Stimpson. In another show of support, volunteers have been showing up to cover shifts, which run 24 hours a day, at two different locations for more than a week.  

“I saw a picture of her on the news and my heart went out to her and her family,” Mike Jenks said. “I just hope that we will be able to find her as a community.”

Like many, when Jenks heard about Stimpson, his heart broke. Jenks has made the trip from Bountiful to the Weber River five times to help keep watch for signs of Stimpson.   

While volunteers keep a lookout at two locations (Adams Avenue toll bridge and mile marker 83 on westbound I-84), search and rescue teams continue to monitor the river.

“Their safety is our top priority,” said Sgt. Paul Babinsky with Weber County Sheriff’s Office.  

Babinsky said that over the weekend, crews used sonar to get a better picture of the riverbed. However, he explained that sonar is best used in calmer waters, like a lake, and the fast-moving river meant they could not get a clear picture of the riverbed. Nonetheless, it was still a useful tool.   

Babinsky told ABC4 that while search efforts are widespread along the river with checkpoints being continuously monitored, the bulk of the action is taking place in Uinta close to the area Stimpson is believed to have fallen in, which is reportedly about 100 yards down, or upstream from here, from the site of the mobile command center.

He said the sheriff’s office is monitoring many factors including the river’s depth, water speed and even the water temperature. These, along with many other factors, are used to get a better idea of when recovery is most likely to be possible.

Babinsky told ABC4 that they hope every day will be the day they find the missing woman. Officials reportedly estimated that recovery may be likely at the end of this week.

However, there is still the possibility that it won’t happen. To that end, Babinsky said, “We’re just going to keep looking.” 

A family friend sent ABC4 a statement Stimpson’s family released online. It reads, in part:

“We are confident, not 100 percent sure, that we know where she is. That is why most of the heavy searching is being done in one location. The K9 team keeps indicating the same place. This does not mean that we are not needed in other areas of the river. Seeing something like clothing float up can lead us in a positive direction.”  

The possibility of the recovery happening soon has volunteers, like Mike Jenks, praying even harder.

He added: “That she’ll be able to be recovered and laid to rest, and that the family can have closure and peace of mind.”  

The river’s current conditions do not allow search and rescue teams to dredge it as it would be too dangerous. The sheriff’s office is thankful for all of the volunteers who’ve been keeping extra pairs of eyes on the river.  

There are also signs along the river that thank the volunteers and search teams. Along with the signs, at the volunteer checkpoints, there are treats and drinks with a note from Stimpson’s family. It reads:

“We are so grateful for you! Thank you for sacrificing your time to help our family find Libby. Every little bit helps. You mean so much to us. We are eternally grateful for your love and support.”