Urgent search underway for Kentucky woman missing in the Virgin Islands as Tropical Storm Karen approaches

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Lucy Schuhmann

As Tropical Storm Karen approaches the Virgin Islands, the urgency is growing to find a Kentucky woman missing in St. John.

Lucy Schuhmann, 48, was reported missing on Thursday by the proprietor of the Airbnb in Coral Bay on St. John, where she was staying, according to a statement from Virgin Islands National Park spokesman Thomas Kelly.

Schuhmann’s belongings were found in her room after she did not check out as scheduled, Kelly said.

The multi-agency search, which includes resources from the Virgin Islands Police Department and St. John Rescue, will continue despite tropical storm warnings that have closed local marine ports, Kelly said.

The US Coast Guard joined park staff in the search Monday, using air operations to look for the missing woman around the southern shoreline of the Virgin Island National Park near where her rental vehicle was found.

Searchers found Schuhmann’s day pack on the Ram Head Trail over the weekend but it offered little information, Kelly said.

Park Superintendent Nigel Fields stressed the urgency of locating Schuhmann as extreme weather approaches St. John.

“Finding Lucy is a top priority,” Fields said during an incident briefing.

Tropical Storm Karen is expected to bring heavy rainfall, flash floods and mudslides to the Virgin Islands on Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm will continue to impact the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico into Wednesday with heavy rains and potential flooding, an advisory from the agency released Monday night said.

Facilities at the Virgin Islands National Park were closed Monday and Tuesday in anticipation of the storm and won’t reopen until port and weather conditions permit, a statement from the agency said.

Park staff are in contact with Schuhmann’s family who have requested privacy at this time, Kelly said.

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