After four days of searching for 19-year-old Elizabeth Garrow-McDonald, Madison County Sheriff Todd Hood says they found a body of an African-American woman Sunday morning.
Garrow-McDonald was last seen Wednesday.
Since then, Sheriff Hood says 12 different agencies and search-and-rescue crews from four counties came together to help find the body of the 19-year-old mom.
Sheriff Hood says that, while the body they’ve found is most likely Garrow-McDonald, as tattoos on the body are consistent with tattoos on the 19 year old, there are still steps to confirming identity.
"For the family, our deepest sympathies go out, that’s not good for them," Hood said. "There will be an identification process that comes forward that we have to wait for. In all probability, this is who we’re looking for, but we have to wait for the process to be official before we make that announcement."
Sheriff Hood says they will continue collecting evidence, and the body will be sent for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
While police work to confirm the identity of the body, the family begins their mourning, remembering the life of Garrow-McDonald. They say they’re accepting what they already knew, and they’re trying to figure out how to live without her.
"I knew it, I knew she was dead. I kept saying it. I was like, yeah, I know this is the worst case scenario because I know her personally and I knew she wouldn’t do this," Melissa Bush, Garrow-McDonald’s sister, said.
For four days, Bush says family members stood waiting with hope that McDonald was alive. As police searched the town for any sign of her, Bush says no matter how much she wished her sister was alive, she knew.
"She never stepped away from her daughter. She never ran away from her home. She loved being at home. It was just weird, I knew it was happening," Bush said.
"She’s a very kind-hearted person. She’s always laughing, she likes to have fun pretty much," Bush added.
They still speak of her in the present, saying they’re not ready to accept a life without her.
"It hasn’t really hit me yet and I don’t want to because I just keep thinking I’m gonna wake up and I’m gonna be able to have dinner with her and it’s gonna be a good day and it’s so hard," Bush said.
As the family plans for life without Elizabeth, they warn others in domestic violence relationships.
"Seek help, before it gets to this point," Bush warned. "Don’t continue to stick in it, I’m telling you it’s not going to end good."
Melissa says that while her sister is no longer with the family or her 1-year-old daughter, she will be remembered with love.
"She’ll be missed. Heaven’s going to be really happy to have her. They’re lucky up there," Bush said.