Neighbors Rally as Search Expands for Missing Mother

Father of four girls killed in crash, but there's no sign of their mother, Tanya Shannon

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dale Shannon was found dead behind the wheel of this car after it apparently spun out and struck a utility pole. Shannon's wife, Tanya Shannon, was with him but hasn't been seen since.

    About 40 volunteers and firefighters divided into six search teams Wednesday in an expanded search for a mother of four who went missing three days earlier.

    Meanwhile, friends and neighbors are comforting and providing for the children who some fear may have lost both parents.

    It's believed that Tanya Shannon, 40, survived the single-car crash that killed her husband Sunday morning as they drove home from a holiday party. Authorities believe she walked away from the crash to seek help, but are stumped as what happened to her.

    "We're expanding [the search] just a bit just to see if, in fact -- to give every chance we can if, in fact, Tanya did walk a little farther than we thought possibly that she could walk. We want to give her that chance. We want to do everything we can to bring this thing to a resolution," said LaSalle County Sheriff Tom Templeton.

    Fighting below-freezing temperatures and gusting winds, searchers used skinny poles to poke through thick snow drifts, looking for any sign of Shannon.

    A low-flying Department of Transportation helicopter joined effort, not just acting as an eye in the sky but also using the wind from its blades as a snow-moving tool.

    "We thought that if there was something that moved a little bit and give us a break and see something either of Tanya or some article of clothing that might give us a lead. That's what we were hoping for," said Templeton. 

    The nearby small town of Ransom has started a collection of money and donations for the Shannon's four girls who range in age from 4 to 15 years.

    "This town's pretty good about coming together whenever there's any type of catastrophe or any type of death in the family or any type of disaster like this," said Carl Watson of Jerry's Tap.

    A fundraising event has been planned for Tuesday night at the bar, located at 119 N. Lincoln St., in Ransom.

    Shannon is described as 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing about 125 pounds, with shoulder-length strawberry blonde hair and green eyes.

    Tuesday's search was suspended at 6 p.m.  Templeton said investigators and volunteers will continue looking for Shannon on Wednesday if there's better weather or a break in the case.  In the meantime, the case proceeds as a missing person investigation.