Benton, KY – In a statement released yesterday, Marshall County officials say a barrage of personal attacks regarding the search for two missing teenagers in Kentucky Lake has led them to hand over control to Graves County and state officials. Public Information Officer Wendy Baxter says emergency officials had invested over 18 thousand man hours in the search, but were forced to put their efforts on hold when the ice storm hit.
"We had 30,000 residents without electricity, and the rescue squad had to take oxygen cylinders, they were taking dialysis patients. We had to get these people generators; we had to get them to shelters. We had to take care of our folks during this storm."
Baxter adds federal agencies normally recommend scaling back similar search efforts after three days, but emergency responders worked on the lake recovery effort for 17 consecutive days. Family members of the two remaining boys have expressed frustration that recovery efforts weren't resumed soon enough after the ice storm.