BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) — The body of a missing woman last seen in Fort McAllister State Park was found Tuesday, according to the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO).

BCSO says it has notified Karla Hillen’s family of the discovery. Police did not release where her body was found or at what time they made the discovery.

The 58-year-old went missing the weekend before Thanksgiving in the Fort McAllister State Park area in Richmond Hill. Her car was found in the park’s parking lot.

This tragic event has brought forth additional resources to the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office and we are eternally grateful so many reached out to offer their services. Our department learned a lot during this time and plan on changing some of our procedures in event of possible similar future occurrences. There is something to be learned from every situation and person, and we are always striving to do better. We thank our community for their continued support. 

Bryan County Sheriff’s Office.

No further details were released.

Early on in the search, the sheriff laid out the following timeline of events:

  • Nov. 20: The last known in-person sighting of Karla Hillen.
  • Nov. 21: Hillen’s vehicle was seen in the driveway of the residence she was staying. By noon, it was gone and it’s believed she then traveled to Fort McAllister State Park.
  • Nov. 23: Hillen was reported missing to BCSO around 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 24: Hillen’s vehicle was found around 3 p.m. at Fort MCallister State Park. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conducted a hasty search with four wheelers and on foot.
  • Nov. 25: DNR continued searching until noon. BCSO then picked up the search.
  • Nov. 26: BCSO continued its search of Fort MCallister State Park on foot. They also opened up Hillen’s vehicle to search it (with permission from her family).
  • Nov. 27: Georgia State Patrol (GSP) sent out a helicopter to aid in the search. BCSO surveyed the area on foot and via boat.
  • Nov. 28: A K9 team from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office conducted an article search of the State Park to no avail.
  • Nov. 29: GSP received a “delayed hit” on a missing person alert. Authorities received information to believe Hillen was in the Atlanta area, but BCSO said the lead was unfounded.
  • Dec. 1: BCSO’s search continued.
  • Dec. 2: GSP’s helicopter searched the State Park via air, this time with a low and more thorough search. BCSO’s Marine Patrol returned to the water to search, and a K9 team from South Carolina conducted another hasty search.
  • Dec. 3: BCSO sent a team out to search the Savage Island area, where campers are located, to no avail.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is released.