Community reacts to couple believed to be missing after plane cr - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Community reacts to couple believed to be missing after plane crash

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CARTERVILLE -- Community members in Carterville search for answers as a search goes on for a southern Illinois couple who reportedly went missing Tuesday. Friends believe their plane went down somewhere over West Virginia, leaving them hoping and praying. 

"That's really about all we can do," said Bob Morwell, pastor at Carterville First United Methodist Church. "We're asking for prayers for of course Mr. and Mrs. Searcy and all the people who are in such anxiety and distress and let them know their community is surrounding them with love."

Morwell said he got to know the couple very well. 

"We have family members, sister to Mr. Searcy, who is a member of our church and Mrs. Searcy works at an after school program our church puts on," said Morwell. 

He said the couple's plane had safety features that should give them a good chance to survive a crash.

“This was an airplane that was equipped with a parachute, in distress the plane can deploy the shoot and come down under it and we’re hoping something like that happened,” said Morwell. 

Metro News radio reporter Brittany Murray said search crews combed miles of territory without yet finding a trace of the plane.

“They are doing some on-the-ground searches as well as a couple drones out in the air flying around looking for them," Murray said. "State police is also involved with some helicopters as well."

The pastor told News 3 the family got word that search crews received a ping from a cell phone late Wednesday, which could help narrow the search down when it resumes Thursday morning.

Meantime, friends and family hope the search will help them find answers, and bring Mr. and Mrs. Searcy back to them.

"We just want to urge people to be in prayer for the family at this time," said Morwell. "It's extremely nerve-wracking and we do not know their status and everything just hangs fire until we find out."

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