OVERLAND PARK, Kansas — A Kansas mother of three who left home more than a week ago to visit family in Alabama – and to seek mental health treatment – has vanished without a trace, leading to a multistate search aimed at bringing her home.
Marilane Carter, 36, of Overland Park, was last seen by family on the night of Aug. 1, ABC News reported. She was spotted the next morning in surveillance footage as she checked into, and out of, a hotel in West Plains, Missouri.
Her husband, who serves as lead pastor of Leawood Baptist Church in Leawood, Kansas, told KMBC in Kansas City that she spent about three hours at the hotel before getting back in her gray 2011 GMC Acadia. Carter was speaking to her husband when her cellphone apparently cut out.
She spoke to her mother, Marlene Mesler, of Birmingham, Alabama, about 15 minutes later. Again, her phone cut out or died.
Carter has not been heard from since. KMBC reported that neither her phone nor her credit cards have been used since that night.
Carter, who is about 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs about 130 pounds, was last seen wearing a green T-shirt, black yoga pants and a cap. Her Acadia has Kansas license plate 194 LFY.
See footage of Marilane Carter checking into, and out of, a Missouri hotel below.
Police and Carter’s family have been searching the area of Interstate 55 over the Mississippi River in Memphis, where her cellphone last pinged, ABC News reported. According to AL.com in Birmingham, law enforcement also conducted an air search of a four-mile radius around where that last ping registered.
The missing woman may be in emotional distress. According to her family, she was heading to Birmingham not only for a family visit, but also to seek mental health treatment.
Authorities have said she made some “concerning statements” to family members the night she vanished.
“She was seeking some mental health care and she didn’t want to go to any place in Kansas City, but she wanted to go to a place she was familiar with,” her husband, Adam Carter, told KMBC.
Marilane Carter, who is a graduate of Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, formerly served as a hospital chaplain in the city, her family said. Her brother-in-law, Brady McLaughlin, said the family believes she reached out to either the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital or Grandview Medical Center to set up her treatment.
“Marilane’s husband and three children, as well as our entire family, just want to know that Marilane is safe,” McLaughlin told AL.com.
On Thursday, Leawood Baptist Church held a prayer gathering for Carter and her family in the church parking lot. Church officials have also set up a 24-hour, “round the clock” prayer vigil for Carter.
“Thank you for keeping the family in your prayers. Please continue to pray without ceasing,” a post on the church’s Facebook page said Monday morning.
McLaughlin said Friday that the family remains hopeful that his sister-in-law will be found safe.
“We are devastated because she has three children and they cry every night,’' her mother, Mesler, told reporters in Memphis. “They are asking for their mommy. Her husband loves her so much.”
Adam Carter has been in Tennessee aiding in the search for his wife.
“She’s a loving mother, loving wife. We have a great relationship. I miss her terribly. I want her home. I want her home with our kids,” Adam Carter said, according to KMBC.
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