WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (KSDK)- For the first time we are hearing from the family of a mother and son who were swept away from floodwaters in Pulaski County.
On Tuesday August 6th, 23-year-old Jessica Lee was on her way to work around 5 a.m. with her 4-year-old son Elyjah in the car. That is when Jessica's mom Michelle got a frantic phone call.
"She said mom help me, the water is coming in, it's flooding. I said where are you? And it just went dead," said Michelle.
Without even thinking, Michelle jumped into her car and faced the flood on her own never losing hope.
A few hours later search teams found Jessica's car. They found Elyjah a few feet from the car.
For three excruciating days, the Lee family had to wait to learn any news about their daughter as they continued to try everything in their power to find her.
"As soon as the sun comes up 4:30, 5 o'clock, 5:30 you are in a ditch and you walk in the ditch even though it has already been walked a dozen times," said Michael.
Rescuers, friends, and even total strangers also searched for Jessica and when the water finally receded, Jessica's body was found in a pile of debris near the Roubidoux River Bridge.
"You are making preparations to put an empty box in the ground because you have got to do something and the realization is there is a good possibility you are not going to get her back so it was a good feeling," said Michael.
"We are going to make sure that she says alive in this community and I think this community will make sure she stays alive, she and Elyjah," said Michelle.
The city is planning to create a permanent memorial for Jessica and Elyjah near the bridge where Jessica was found.
If you would like to help the Lee family you can send donations to the Waynesville Memorial Chapel in Jessica Lee's name. The address is 202 Historic 66 W Waynesville, MO 65583. For more information call (573) 774-6111