Father: Unusual for daughter to be out of touch for so long

April 18, 2017: Officials are still searching for a LMU student nearly two weeks after she was last seen.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT UPDATE: The TBI confirmed Wednesday that a Toyota Corolla found in the Cherohala Skyway area in Monroe County is that of a missing Claiborne County woman.

Veronica Casciato was seen leaving the Lincoln Memorial University campus on April 6 in the car. No one has heard from her since.

Authorities searched throughout Wednesday for Casciato in the hilly, wooded area in Monroe County near Eagle Gap without luck.

Claiborne County Sheriff David Ray said authorities have no reason to think anything suspicious has happened at this point. The car was found in an area where people typically would park to go hiking, he said.

Forensics experts will work on the car, which likely will yield clues.

Ray said it's possible but not assured that investigators will search the area again Thursday.

Casciato's father Michael Machen said it's not unusual for Veronica to go out exploring on her own. But it's very out of character for her to be out of reach for so long.

"It's getting to be a long time, but I'm doing my best not to allow myself to think of anything negative because there are still positive chances," he told 10News on Wednesday night.

He said his daughter has a big heart and is always willing to help people. She's studying to be a social worker.

"She's as nice of person as she can be," he said in an interview from his Knox County home.

PREVIOUS STORY: Claiborne County officials say a missing woman's car may have been found in Monroe County. 

Several Claiborne County investigators were on their way to Monroe County late Tuesday night to check on the possible discovery of Veronica Casciato's vehicle. Casciato, 48, was last seen leaving the LMU campus in Harrogate on April 6. 

Casciato was driving a white 2010 Toyota Corolla with a Sevier County license plate. 

According to Claiborne County Sheriff David Ray, the TBI also was traveling to the county.

Ray told WBIR 10News he’s waiting to hear from his investigators whether it is in fact the missing woman’s car.

Casciato's whereabouts remain unknown.

A vigil was held for her Tuesday at LMU – where she’s a student. People gathered at the campus quad to show their support for her. 

Ray says he’s hopeful she’ll be found safe and sound.

Anyone with information about where Casciato is should contact the Claiborne County Sheriff's Office at 423-626-3385 or call 911. 

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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