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UPDATE: One Year Since Woman in Gallia County Went Missing

By: Olivia Fecteau; Josh McComas; Andrew Colegrove Email
By: Olivia Fecteau; Josh McComas; Andrew Colegrove Email
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UPDATE 3/21/14 @ 10 p.m.
GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Saturday marks exactly one year since a woman in Gallia County disappeared.

Sharon Yoczik was reported missing from her home along Neighborhood Road in Gallia County, and the heartache of not knowing what happened to her continues to plague her family.

On Friday, Sheriff Joe Browning says his department and the Bureau of Criminal Investigations follow every lead that comes in with this case, but there is nothing new to report with the investigation.

So far no signs of foul play have been found.

Yoczik’s family told investigators after she went missing that she did not have a history of walking off. They said she had recently been involved in a crash and had experienced some blackouts.

Family also said she had severe arthritis and wasn't able to walk very far.

After finding her glasses on the bank of the Ohio River, crews searched the area with boats and a helicopter, but they never found any sign of Sharon.

James McCarty lives near the family. He says the community can't imagine how devastating it is going this long with no answers.

"It is very mysterious,” he said. “Nobody knows anything. There are no answers anywhere."



UPDATE 3/28/13 @ 2:45 p.m.
GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A helicopter is being used Thursday afternoon to search for a missing woman in Gallipolis, Ohio.

Sharon Yoczik, 67, has been missing since Friday morning. She was last seen at her home on Neighborhood Road in Gallipolis.

Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning tells WSAZ.com that the Ohio Highway Patrol and Sheriff's Deputies are in a helicopter searching the area where Yoczik went missing.

Earlier this week, crews searching the riverbank of the Ohio River found a pair of glasses that belonged to Yoczik.

Two witnesses have come forward, saying they saw a woman matching Yoczik's description walking along Route 7 near the river around the time she went missing.

A boat crew from Central Ohio is expected to come to town this weekend to resume the search on the river.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 3/27/13 @ 10:55 a.m.
GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A pair of glasses found during the search for a missing woman match the pair investigators believe she was wearing.

Sharon Yoczik, 67, has been missing since Friday morning. She was last seen at her home on Neighborhood Road in Gallipolis.

Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning tells WSAZ.com that a pair of glasses were found along the river bank of the Ohio River late Monday afternoon.

Browning says a doctor has been able to confirm that the frames and prescription matched Yoczik's.

Browning tells WSAZ.com that after finding the glasses, they took a bloodhound to the scene and the dog went straight to where the glasses were laying.

Crews have been searching the river, river bank and area around Yoczik's home since Friday. Sheriff Browning says Wednesday, crews will be out on horseback searching some trails in the area.

Browning tells WSAZ.com that they have spoken to a witness who said they saw Yoczik walking along Route 7 near the river, but they are still searching the entire area.

Yoczik's family said she has some health problems, including blackout spells for the last several months and arthritis that makes her unable to walk far.

Investigators say there are no signs of foul play at this point.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 3/26/13 @ 8 p.m.
GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- The search continues for 67-year-old Sharon Yoczik, who has been missing since Friday.

Investigators searched along the Ohio River Tuesday after finding a pair of glasses there Monday that may have been hers.

Her next door neighbors on Neighborhood Road in Gallipolis say Yoczik would often go out of her way to do something kind for them.

"She'd bring over vegetables, come help in the garden,” neighbor Cheryl Northup said. “She’s a great person."

Northup says Yoczik and her husband moved to Gallipolis from Florida a few years ago to be close to family.

"She’s very family oriented,” Cheryl’s husband Jack Northup said. “She thought the world of her grandkids, her daughter -- spoke of them very highly."

Jack and other neighbors have been helping investigators comb the area since Yoczik went missing.

"The unknown is very hard,” Jack said, “not knowing why exactly. There are a lot of answers to be filled yet."

They say staying optimistic is getting harder as each day goes by without knowing what’s happened.

"It gets a little more difficult to keep up hope and to know she's safe and not suffering if she were out in this weather," Cheryl said.



UPDATE 3/25/13 @ 6:30 p.m.
GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- On the fourth day of the search efforts for a missing 67-year-old woman, investigators have discovered a pair of eyeglasses near the river bank along Route 7 in Gallipolis.

They're not sure if the glasses belong to Sharon Yoczik, who family members say has been missing since Friday morning. But it's the first sign of anything they've found in four days of searching and a criminal investigation.

Yoczik's family said they last saw her Friday morning. Her husband said she was sleeping when he left their home on Neighborhood Road around 10 a.m. When he came home a few hours later, she was gone -- with no note or any sign of anything missing.

"We're still continuing our search and being optimistic that maybe she got a ride from someone, maybe [she's] just been disoriented," Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning said. "Maybe she had some medical issues or something."

Her family said she has some health problems, including blackout spells for the last several months and arthritis that makes her unable to walk far. Investigators are taking her medical history into account and are also looking into whether she's had any problems with anyone in the past. They said there are no signs of foul play at this point.

"Is there anything going on there that would've led her to have left the home, either on her own or with someone else's assistance?" Browning said. "Did she leave not of her own free will?"

The search has been further complicated by the cold, wintry weather the last few days, as crews have braved the elements to search the property from a helicoper, on foot and along the Ohio River a few blocks from Yoczik's home.

"With the temperature dropping and what we've had outside is not in our favor at all," Browning said. "You have to kind of pursue all the options that you have."

Investigators are now asking neighbors in Gallia County to help them out. They've also called in an investigator from Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigation and have printed flyers to get the word out.

"We just want to do anything we can for them. If they need help with anything, we'll be there to help," Kem Hood, a neighbor, said.

"If they could help us, they know their property better than what we do," Browning said. "If you have a farm, outbuildings, maybe barns or things that are only used seasonally, if you could check that out yourself for us and if something's out of place or suspicious, certainly give us a call."

Yoczik has gray hair and blue eyes. Her family said she is about 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds. They're not sure what she was wearing when she went missing.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/24/13 @ 1:30 p.m.
GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- It's day three and there is still no sign of a woman who went missing Friday morning in Gallia County, Ohio.

Sharon Yoczik was last seen at her home on Neighborhood Road off
Route 7 in Gallipolis.

The Gallia County Sheriff tells WSAZ.com the fire department is searching the Ohio River Sunday, while Sheriff's deputies continue to search by foot.

Family members say Yoczik is about five feet, two inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds. She has gray hair and blue eyes. They aren't sure what clothing she might have been wearing when she disappeared.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/23/13 @ 7:30 p.m.
GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Sheriff's deputies and firefighters are still searching for a woman who has been missing since Friday morning.

Deputies said Sharon Yoczik -- who will be 68 years old next month -- was last seen at her home around 10 a.m. Friday. That home is on Neighborhood Road off Route 7 in Gallipolis. Her family said she was sleeping when her husband left the house at that time. When he returned home at noon, he said she was gone.

"We started talking with neighbors, looking around the area," Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning said. "Obviously we looked through the house with [her husband's] permission."

As of Saturday afternoon, local officers had called for extra help in the search effort, including the Coast Guard. So far, they haven't had any luck.

"With nightfall, we did a pretty extensive search right here in the area before it got dark with a helicopter and dogs and personnel, as well as several other volunteers," Browning said. "We just weren't able to come up with anything."

Browning said bloodhounds tracked Yoczik's scent on the property and down to the mailbox at the foot of the driveway. But they haven't been able to track her scent past the property.

Family members said Yoczik never went to the mailbox and wouldn't have been able to walk that far due to health problems, including arthritis. She also has had a history of blackout spells the last several months.

Deputies found her purse inside the home, but not in its usual location. Yoczik does not have a cell phone, and the family said they had called anyone who might have seen her, to no avail.

A big concern now, as it often is when people go missing, is the cold weather.

"It's been down in the low twenties in this area, nighttime," Mike Null, an assistant chief at the Gallipolis Fire Department, said. "Do they have enough clothes to stay warm with?"

Null and his team joined in the search effort on foot and on four-wheelers once the dogs were finished.

"We don't want to contaminate the scene with too many bodies for the dogs to separate out," Null said.

Local officers are hoping the Coast Guard can scan the Ohio River nearby Yoczik's home, in case she wandered in that direction.

Family members say Yoczik is about five feet, two inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds. She has gray hair and blue eyes. They aren't sure what clothing she might have been wearing when she disappeared.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Gallia County Sheriff's Department.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 3/22/13 @ 5:15 p.m.

GALLIA COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Deputies are searching for a woman in Gallia County that family members say has gone missing.

Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning tells WSAZ.com Sharon Yoczik, 68, of Gallia County, Ohio, went missing about 10 a.m. Friday.

Yoczik is 5 feet 2 inches tall, has blue eyes, gray hair and weighs about 120 pounds.

A family member told Sheriff Browning that Yoczik does not have a history of walking off, but was recently involved in a crash and has experienced some blackouts.

Yoczik was last seen in the area of State Route 218.

Deputies and K-9 units are in the area and searching for Yoczik at this time.

If you have seen this woman or have any information, please call the Sheriff's Department at 740-446-1221.

We have a crew at the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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