Legacy Post Disclaimer

This is a #Legacy post imported from The Apalachicola Time’s previous platform. If you’re experiencing issues with this article, please email us at news@nevespublishing.com.


Search for missing New York woman turns to recovery operation

Law enforcement officials continued their search Monday afternoon of the waters off St. George Island for a New York woman, who they believe may have drowned while swimming at the state park as early as Thursday morning.

Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith said personnel from his department, along with officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission  and staff from Dr. Julian Bruce St. George Island State Park, were conducting a search in the water and along the beach for the missing woman.

He said the search is being assisted from the air by a drone squad from the Florida Highway Patrol.

The sheriff’s office identified the woman as Staci Peterson, 33, from Saratoga County in upstate New York, just north of Albany.

Peterson, who is five-feet, four-inches tall with brown hair, is a graduate of Florida State University. Smith said she had taken a road trip to scatter her dog’s ashes in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We suspect she may have gone into the water and not come out,” said Smith. “We do not suspect any foul play.”

State park staff noticed Peterson’s rented Jeep sitting in the parking lot for two days, Friday and Saturday, and after notifying the sheriff’s office, the search began, Smith said. Her cellphone, wallet, keys and hotel key card were found on the beach.

On Thursday, the swimming conditions were a yellow flag, meaning it was a medium hazard, with moderate surf and currents.

“Not the worst conditions but certainly not the best,” Smith said, in a Facebook Live broadcast Monday morning. “Those of us who live here know how treacherous the waters can be even on a day that looks relatively calm.”

Assisted by the sheriff’s office newly acquired license plate readers, it was determined she had entered the county Thursday morning about 9 a.m., and the state park about an hour later.

“I think she went in the water to go for a swim or maybe waded out to put her dog’s ashes in,” Smith said. 

The sheriff asked that anyone with information to contact the sheriff’s office  at 850-670-8500.

Similar Posts

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.