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Update: Search for missing pastor’s wife enters third week

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (BP) — It has been two weeks since she disappeared, and authorities have no firm leads on the whereabouts of Marilane Carter.

Marilane, 36, seems to have basically disappeared around West Memphis, Ark., the night of Aug. 2.

The wife of Leawood (Kan.) Baptist Church pastor Adam Carter left her home around 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1. She said she was headed to Birmingham and decided to drive through the night to get there, according to police and family sources.

She had only made it to West Memphis by the next night when her phone seems to have been turned off around 8 p.m.

Adam said he talked to her at 7:45 p.m. on Aug. 2, and she sounded a little confused but noted she was about to cross the I-55 bridge into Tennessee.

“We’ve made that trip so many times, she’s got to know the route,” he said.

Overland Park PD detective Blake Larsen said during an Aug. 14 press conference that investigators have no reason to suspect criminal activity in Marilane’s disappearance.

Investigators are “simply trying to help the family locate Marilane Carter and bring her back to her children, her husband, her parents — they’re all worried sick about her,” Larsen said.

Larsen said investigators are using credit card, cell phone and video surveillance information to track Marilane’s path from Overland Park. Her family believes she was on her way to Birmingham to visit family and possibly seek psychiatric care from UAB hospital where she once served as a pastoral chaplain.

Many civilians and “good Samaritans” are helping in the search. Posts at the “Find Marilane” Facebook page said volunteers have been using sonar to scan large areas of the Mississippi River near the last location recorded by Marilane’s cell phone. That sonar imagery is being analyzed, an Aug. 13 report said.

The search covers several states from Kansas to Alabama and includes the West Memphis Police Department, Memphis Police Department, Marion (Ark.) Police Department, Arkansas State Police, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Marshals Service, as well as agencies from Missouri, Mississippi and Alabama.

“The family extends debts of gratitude to all of these agencies,” a Facebook post said.

Adam Carter was in Kansas City to celebrate the couple’s 3-year-old daughter’s birthday on Aug. 17 but plans to return to Birmingham Aug. 19 to continue the search for his wife.

Volunteers have distributed thousands of missing-person flyers in Memphis and surrounding areas, as well as to truck drivers.

Larsen said Marilane’s case is different than most missing person cases because her activity seemed to stop at once.

“This is a unique and strange case,’’ he said. “Everything just stopped at a certain time.”

He said, “It’s been a tough two weeks,” and that investigators will continue the search as long as they are getting new leads and valid tips.

“What we learned from the family, it’s urgent to try to find her,’’ Larsen said. “We are keeping our fingers crossed … that we find her alive and well.”

Marilane is 5 feet, 8 inches tall, 130 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes and was driving a 2011 dark gray GMC Acadia with a Kansas license plate — 194LFY.

Please call 205-390-1003 if you have any information or 911 if she is found.