Search to Resume Saturday for Woman Swept Away by Flooded West Branch DuPage River

News Release

Search to Resume Saturday for Woman Swept Away by Flooded West Branch DuPage River

Air, water, divers search for woman walking two dogs; one dog recovered alive

(May 15, 2020) — Emergency responders searched for an 18-year-old autistic West Chicago woman swept away by the West Branch DuPage River in Winfield Mounds Forest Preserve in Winfield Friday night.
The woman was walking two dogs at about 6 p.m. Friday when she crossed a flooded-out pedestrian bridge at Winfield Mounds and was swept away by the current, according to Tony Martinez, director of community relations at the DuPage Forest Preserve District. The incident occurred just west of Winfield Road and south of Geneva Road.

A witness riding his bicycle nearby said he saw the woman get swept away by the current as she walked through waist-high water on the bridge and tried to assist her until he lost sight of her as she was swept away.

Emergency responders from more than a dozen communities searched for the woman using boats, divers, drones, thermal imaging and helicopters while her family watched nearby.

Rescuers recovered one of the dogs alive but did not find the woman or the other dog before calling off the search for the evening at about 11 p.m. The search will resume Saturday morning, Martinez said.

# # #

Tony Martinez, Community Relations
DuPage Forest Preserve District
630-740-3994 |

The Forest Preserve District offers a monthly e-newsletter that includes timely information about projects, programs and events in our DuPage forest preserves. Subscribe to our e-newsletter, and get the latest nature news straight to your inbox.