Authorities in Florida have released a chilling video of a woman wading through an alligator-infested river near Orlando on the day she mysteriously disappeared three weeks ago. Paola Miranda-Rosa, 31, who has a history of mental health, was reported missing by her family three weeks ago after she was last seen at a relative's home in Orlando.
Since then, authorities and her family have been frantically searching for her although hikers have reported that they saw the missing woman at Wekiva Springs State Park the day after she was reported missing. The video released by police may now add a new angle to the entire missing episode.
Miranda-Rosa went missing on December 17. According to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, hikers had since come forward to say they spotted the missing woman in Wekiva Springs State Park on December 18.
However, there have been no signs of her since then. Four days later, on December 22, police found Miranda-Rosa's black 2011 Chevrolet HHR abandoned at Wekiva Springs State Park.
Authorities have now released a video that shows Miranda-Rosa, who reportedly is schizophrenic, wading through the alligator-infested Wekiva river in Orlando. The video was in fact provided to police by some hikers.
Besides, two images of Miranda-Rosa that were taken by the hikers were also released. Police later clarified with the missing woman's family members who confirmed that the person in the photos and the video is Miranda-Rosa.
Wekiva River is known to have alligators, although attacks on humans are rare. In 2015, a 37-year-old woman wading in the river lost a part of her arm when a reptile attacked her.
According to the sheriff's office, the video was obtained on December 20 but withheld it from the public until this week out of respect for Miranda-Rosa's family.
Sheriff Marcos Lopez said he decided to release the recording and photos in hopes that someone else who may have seen the missing woman comes forward with additional information.
Is Miranda-Rosa Alive?
Police have been scouting the area ever since they got hold of the video but so far, they haven't met with success. Miranda-Rosa's family is still hopeful that she will be traced soon. This is one reason why the video too wasn't released earlier.
"Maybe someone else in the park saw her in a different area of the water and they can say 'Hey, we've got some video of her too here,' and maybe it will lead us in a different direction," Lopez told ClickOrlando. "That was the last known video of her alive in that water, that doesn't go to say that she couldn't have come out, walked somewhere else."
Authorities have been using high-tech underwater camera systems to trawl roughly 4.5 miles of the river near where Miranda-Rosa was last seen. They have also been scouring the woods on either side of the river for any trace of her.
Miranda-Rosa was last seen wearing blue denim shorts and a green or white shirt. She is described as 4 feet 10 inches tall and 145 pounds. She has red hair and brown eyes.
Investigators said they do not suspect foul play in the woman's disappearance, but her family said it was unlike her to stop answering their calls, especially before the holidays, or leave her pets unattended.