Family Of Missing Kayaker Seeking Closure As Search Continues

LEETSDALE (KDKA) – Search crews and volunteers are still trying to find a woman who disappeared while kayaking over the weekend.

Helene Brandy, 25, was last seen on the Ohio River on Saturday.

Brandy’s family members gathered on the shore of the river again Tuesday morning, hopeful that she would be found. Brandy, who is from Upper Saint Clair, was kayaking with a friend, when their kayak went over a dam on the river.

“Unfortunately, the last photo that she sent, was just a few hundred feet from the dam. She had no clue it was there, obviously from the photo,” said Sam Gaetano, a relative of Brandy.

The body of 25-year-old Brittany Evans was found near the Dashield Lock and Dam shortly after the kayak went over, but there was no sign of Brandy, who family members say lived her life to the fullest. The family brought her high school senior picture to the river.

“Helene cheerleaded at my son’s high football games, they both went to Pitt together, she cheerleaded for Pitt,“ said Gaetano. “She was a great gymnast, great athlete, loved a lot of crafts and just a vibrant young lady at the beginning of a wonderful life.”

Allegheny County is offering resources to aid in the search, including a drone and a boat equipped with sonar equipment. The plan for Tuesday is to search the 12 miles between two dams.

Meanwhile, Brandy’s family is asking for prayers.

“Her parents need closure, they need prayer and support in that,” said Gaetano.

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