Search scales back for missing horseback rider

Volunteers and several state entities were involved in the search for 24-year-old Marquita Medrano this week.

The search is scaling back for Marquita Medrano, the 24-year-old who went missing after going horseback riding with her neice on Monday.

Her neice, 7-year-old Emily Purcell, who was found deceased around 8:30 p.m. Monday evening.

A search of the area was launched with the aid of volunteers, members of the Canadian Volunteer Fire Department, Hemphill County EMS, search dogs, Texas Dept. of Transportation, Texas Department of Public safety helicopter, and more.

Today, Hemphill County Sheriff's Office released an update saying that the search is being scaled back, and outside resources are being released for now.

They will continue to search and are going to bring canine resources back in a couple of days and re-search the area. The search area encompassed approximately 30 miles of waterway - downstream from the Canadian River Bridge to near the Oklahoma state line.

It was searched utilizing boats, kayaks, personnel on horseback, on foot both in and along the riverbanks. The river has a large amount of debris piles scattered throughout the search area some of which were as large as full-size SUV's. Those were searched by hand as well as possible.

All of the resources, including volunteers and outside law enforcement did as thorough a search as possible given the conditions they were faced with. Some of the areas were completely inaccessible by any means although they had people trying to crawl through the brush on their hands and knees.

The area continues to be hazardous and dangerous; however, if any new information comes available, please call the Hemphill County Sheriff's Office at 806-323-5324.

In addition, a statewide law enforcement notification was sent out last evening. Hemphill County Sheriff's Office is in the process of issuing a statewide and nationwide Missing and Endangered Person report.