Tennessee

UPDATE: Woman killed trying to help find elderly woman at Cummins Falls

Family members say the woman found dead at Cummins Falls on Thursday was there helping to search for a missing elderly woman.

Lisa Michelle Tufts-Hillian, who goes by Missy, had heard about the search for 73-year-old Peggy McDaniel and wanted to assist, according to a report from our sister NBC affiliate WSMV.

Tufts-Hillian's family members urged her to stay home because it might be too dangerous.

Search crews found her body around 9 a.m. Thursday. The TBI confirmed her identity Friday morning. An autopsy will be performed by the Medical Examiner's Office to determine her cause of death. The investigation is ongoing.

Tufts-Hillian's relatives say she was the kind of person who always wanted to help others.

The 45-year-old leaves behind a an 8-year-old son. He had been staying with her ex-husband while she was gone.

Tufts-Hillian was a former real estate agent who worked in Dayton, TN. Her boss said she left in 2015 to spend more time with her son, but she was an excellent employee.

The search for McDaniel continues. She was with her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren when they were trapped by high waters at Cummins Falls State on Wednesday. 

Jackson County officials rescued about 40 people after a flash flood rushed through. Officials said the water rose about 3 feet in a matter of minutes.


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