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Anderson County woman still missing

Rugged terrain is hampering efforts to find a Garnett woman who went missing southwest of Emporia on Wednesday.

51-year-old Debra Johnston was last seen about 20 miles southwest of Emporia on the Kansas Turnpike. The search is focused in southeast Chase County, along with parts of southwest Lyon County and northwest Greenwood County.

Chase County Sheriff Richard Dorneker says the search area involves a lot of creek beds, ravines and downed trees, making it difficult to search by ATV -- and not a snap to search on foot.

Dorneker says a helicopter and several search dogs have been called in to help.

Johnston apparently either had her vehicle break down or run out of gas before leaving it behind. She is 5-foot-5, between 150 and 165 pounds, with blonde or sandy brown hair and green eyes. Before she disappeared on the Kansas Turnpike, she was seen at her place of employment in Garnett wearing a brown sweatshirt, tan or brown pants and was carrying a red backpack.

If you have seen Johnston, call 9-1-1 immediately. If you have information on her whereabouts, call the Lyon County Sheriff's Office at 342-5545, the Chase County Sheriff's Office at 620-273-6313 or the Greenwood County Sheriff's Office at 620-583-5568.

11 am: Johnston search underway

The search continues for an Anderson County woman who has been missing since Wednesday afternoon.

Lyon County Undersheriff John Koelsch says 51-year-old Debra Johnston of Garnett was last seen about 3:20 pm Wednesday near milepost 108 of the Kansas Turnpike, or roughly 20 miles southwest of Emporia.

Johnston is 51 years old, 5-foot-5, between 150 and 165 pounds, with blonde or sandy brown hair and green eyes. Before she disappeared on the Kansas Turnpike, she was seen at her place of employment in Garnett wearing a brown sweatshirt, tan or brown pants and was carrying a red backpack.

Koelsch says the search is now concentrated in Chase County, with the Chase County Sheriff's Office leading the search. Lyon and Greenwood counties are assisting, but Koelsch says there is a lot of rugged terrain yet to cover.

Johnston is officially considered endangered. If you have seen Johnston, call 9-1-1 immediately. If you have information on her whereabouts, call the Lyon County Sheriff's Office at 342-5545, the Chase County Sheriff's Office at 620-273-6313 or the Greenwood County Sheriff's Office at 620-583-5568.

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