Virginia Pennington Identified as Woman Swept Away by Floodwaters

Human Remains Found Along River in Dearborn County Identified

The remains discovered in Dearborn County earlier this week have been identified by the coroner’s office. The remains have been confirmed to belong to Virginia Pennington, a 53-year-old woman from Brookville, Indiana. This identification sheds light on a tragic incident that occurred on July 28, 2023, when Pennington and 49-year-old Hardy Harris Jr. were swept away by floodwaters in Wolf Creek.

At the time of the incident, Pennington and Harris were staying in a cabin on Wolf Creek in Franklin County, Indiana. While Harris’ body was recovered the following day, Pennington remained missing until January 16, when a property owner in West Harrison reported finding a human skull near the Whitewater River on his property. Deputies who responded to the call discovered additional skeletal remains in a debris pile caused by flooding.

Due to inclement weather, the search for further remains was temporarily halted. However, investigators resumed their efforts on January 17 and collected the remaining skeletal remains, transporting them to the Hamilton County Morgue under the supervision of the Dearborn County Coroner. It was then determined that the remains belonged to Pennington through a scientific comparison that involved medical records and X-rays.

The site where Pennington’s remains were discovered is approximately 19 and a half miles away from where she was initially swept away by floodwaters. This tragic incident serves as a reminder of the devastating power of natural disasters and the lingering impacts they can have on communities and families.

The identification of Virginia Pennington’s remains brings closure to her loved ones who have been searching for answers since the incident occurred. The Dearborn County Coroner’s Office worked in collaboration with the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office to positively identify the remains, providing a sense of resolution to this heartbreaking situation.

The discovery of human remains along the Whitewater River in Dearborn County has once again highlighted the importance of ongoing efforts to improve disaster preparedness and response. It serves as a somber reminder that even long after a tragic event, the consequences can continue to unfold.

As investigations continue, authorities will work to gather any additional information that may shed light on the circumstances surrounding Pennington’s death. The community mourns the loss of Virginia Pennington, and our hearts go out to her family and friends during this difficult time.

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