Missing woman's body recovered at Cummins Falls

July 7, 2017: Two days after she went missing, the body of 73-year-old Peggy Daniel was found at Cummins Falls. Lisa Tufts-Hillian also died while helping in the search.

COOKEVILLE, TENN. - The body of a woman who went missing at Cummins Falls State Park was recovered Friday afternoon.

Peggy McDaniel, 73, went missing Wednesday after water rose quickly, trapping dozens of people.

Jackson County officials and McDaniel’s family made the announcement at a press conference Friday evening.

"We just want to take the time to say how much our mother was loved throughout our community," said McDaniel's daughter Julie Taylor. "She enjoyed spending time with her husband David, us, and her grandchildren. She was crafty. I've never met a more spry woman in my entire life. She was gritty. She out worked me and (her son) Shane both. And she was a giver. And she would be very giving to everyone in the community."

Thursday, the body of Lisa Michelle Tufts-Hillian was also found at Cummins Falls. Officials said she had heard about the search for McDaniel and wanted to help.

Officials said McDaniel was with her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren when a rush of water from a flash flood hit early Wednesday afternoon. The family was trying to walk across the creek when they lost grip on McDaniel. 

Park rangers on the banks were trying to toss them a rope, but could not get it to them.

About 40 people were rescued from the water. 

Officials said the water rose three feet in a matter of minutes.

WSMV


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