Home Breaking News Drowning victim recovered from Missouri lake; vigil set Friday

Drowning victim recovered from Missouri lake; vigil set Friday

Photo by Brandon Williamson - The widow of Antonio "Tonio" Finley, Crystal Scoggins Finley, holds a gold star balloon before the balloon release held for Nashville teen Kaliea Munn held last week at a residence on Bush Street. Antonio Finley, 37, of Nashville, risked his life to save the 17-year-old Munn after the vehicle they were traveling in was swept away during a flash flood in Branson, Mo. on May 27.

Missouri authorities have confirmed that the body of a Tollette woman who drowned in a flash flood near Branson, Mo., last week is that of Whitney McDonald, 31.

She was recovered from Bull Shoals Lake after some fishermen alerted police Saturday, June 3, to a body in the water about 23 miles from the site of the accident.

A candlelight vigil and balloon release for McDonald will be held Friday, June 9, at the Tollette Old School at 8 p.m.

A memorial service for McDonald will be held at the Saratoga Gym at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 10.

Organizers of the service request that attendees wear pink, green, black or white.

Two Nashville residents were also killed when their vehicle was swept away by the flash flood May 28. The victims were Antonio Finley, 37, and Kailea Munn, 17.

Two other persons – Jermar Finley of Nashville, the brother of Antonio Finley; and Princess Thomas of Mineral Springs – survived.

They were in a church group which was in Branson for the HoopsPlay Basketball Tournaments held at different sites in the community, according to the Springfield News-Leader.

McDonald was thought to be the driver of the vehicle which was swept off the road by high waters after a heavy rain fell in a two-hour span.

Branson authorities said the driver and passengers were not familiar with the area and didn’t see the water.

Four State Search and Rescue, a volunteer team from Joplin, joined the search May 29 and used cadaver dogs as part of the effort.

Finley’s body was found along Fall Creek Road near Cooper Creek Resort about 2 a.m. May 28, according to authorities.

Munn’s body was recovered shortly before 8 a.m. the same day near the Cooper Creek Public Access Area on Lake Taneycomo.

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