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Crime News Missing Persons

After Indiana Teacher Goes Missing in Puerto Rico, a Body Is Found Floating in River

Amanda Lynn Webster was reported missing last Wednesday by the owner of the place she was staying at, after the owner noticed she left her possessions behind and her rental car on the property.

By Gina Salamone
A police handout of Amanda Webster

Amid the search for an Indiana art teacher who went missing while she was vacationing in Puerto Rico, a "lifeless body" was found Saturday morning, authorities announced. 

Amanda Lynn Webster, 44, was reported missing last Wednesday by the owner of the place she was staying at, after the owner noticed she left her possessions behind and her rental car on the property.

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Where was the body found in the search for Amanda Lynn Webster?

The remains found over the weekend, "which could be that of a woman," the Puerto Rico Police Bureau stated, were located by a search team in a river in the Rio Blanco neighborhood of the Sector Camino Viejo de Naguabo.

"The body was found upside down floating in a rocky area of the river, so the CIC [Criminal Investigations Corps] team of the Police, along with the Prosecutor's Office and staff of the Forensic Institute are working on the extraction and identification process of it," Puerto Rico Police stated. "At this stage it is not possible to identify the gender of the body or conclude if it shows signs of violence."

A personal photo of Amanda Webster

Ashanti Alert Was Issued for Amanda Lynn Webster

An Ashanti Alert — which is issued for missing persons between the ages of 18 and 64 — was activated Friday to notify the public of the search for Webster.

"This is just an additional tool in a person’s search to identify any additional information that can support in the work already initiated by agents," Puerto Rico Police stated at the time. "The Ashanti Alert was approved with the aim of asking for assistance from citizens to locate missing adults over 18 whose safety is compromised."

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Since last Wednesday, agents from the police bureau's Criminal Investigations Corps, as well as State Emergency Management personnel and the U.S. Forest Service had been searching in a wooded area where Webster was seen by a member of the public.

Webster was an art teacher at Franklin Township schools in Indiana, working with special ed students, according to NBC-affiliated Indianapolis station WTHR.

Though authorities have not confirmed that the body found in the river was Webster's, some of her loved ones are fearing the worst. 

"I'm just happy she was found and that her family, her students and the community and all her friends can have some form of closure even though it's pretty earth shattering," Sharon Rickson, who WTHR identified as one of Webster's best friends, told the station. 

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"There's hundreds if not thousands of lives she directly impacted," Rickson added. "A lot of people are going to be feeling this loss."

The friend described Webster as "such a positive force. You would feel her presence and her warmth immediately. She gave the best hugs. She was very unique, happy-go-lucky, never met a stranger and absolutely beautiful radiant personality. We are really going to miss her."

Last month, before Webster went missing, her mom posted a tribute to her daughter on Facebook.

"Amanda Webster, my beautiful daughter," Pamela Webster wrote. "I didn't know that there was a daughter's day. Sorry I missed it but everyday is daughter's day in my life since the day you were born. Love you to the moon and back forever and ever."

Webster responded, "Awww thank you Mom! Love you too!," adding two heart emojis and, "I didn’t know there was a daughter’s day either — but I’ll take it."

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