Franklin County dive team joins search for missing Bedford County woman

Lina 'Pat' Toot, 83, wandered away from Moneta home last Friday

MONETA, Va. – It all started at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday morning for the Franklin Scruggs Dive Team.

"We still have a while. It's slow, it's tedious," said Capt. Greg McCorkindale, with the Franklin Scruggs Dive Team.

It's the dive team's first time getting involved with the search for Lina "Pat" Toot.

The 83-year-old woman, the Bedford County Sheriff's Office said, wandered away from her Moneta home last Friday.

"All the divers here today are underwater criminal investigators on a master level," McCorkindale said.
Once under water with no visibility, McCorkindale says, the divers are searching in the pond by feeling the bottom.

"We'll go over the entire bottom using what we call a jackstay pattern. So that's a pattern where we've got two anchors on the bottom and you can see them on the buoys that are referenced on the surface," McCorkindale said.

On the other side of Toot's property was the saw team with Moneta Volunteer Fire Department. From a distance, crew members could be seen cutting through the bushes with saws and weed wackers.

"We'll go 40 feet, cut a line in and make a square, then go 40 feet, make a square. So we're able to look through this thicket," Capt. Mike Miller, with the Bedford County Sheriff's Office, said.

"We do this with nobody ever seeing her in the water or anything like that. So our hope and outcome is that she's found alive somewhere else. Yeah, doing well," McCorkindale said.

The Sheriff's Office is still asking people to check their properties while they check cameras at nearby businesses. Also, because of the number of people interested in volunteering, the Sheriff's Office wants people to call dispatch to find out when they can help.

Anyone interested in volunteering can call them at 540-586-7827.

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