Family says Lisa Hillian went to Cummins Falls to help find missing woman

COOKEVILLE, Tennessee (WDEF) – The body found at the Cummings falls state park has been identified as a Sale Creek mother, Lisa Michelle Hillian.

The mother,who was affectionately known as a Missy, left a lasting impact on so many people in her neighborhood and anyone who came in contact with her.

People who have spoken out say she was the epitome of an amazing person who loved nature.

News 12’s Amber Worthy spoke with her sister who says they are 10 months apart.

She says when she received the news that her sister was not here anymore, her initial reaction was shock, but when she was told she died helping someone she didn’t even know…… that fact made it all real because she says that was the type of person Missy was.

Missy was killed after a downpour of rain swept her away while searching for a missing 73 year old. Her sister says Missy was always on a mission to help others and called her a rescuer.

“She was definitely my best friend, she was the light and the glow of our family, for many many years…she had her own pains”

She says Missy’s body will return to a place that is familiar to her family in Rhea County tomorrow morning. She wants people to remember that smile and loving spirit that helped people until her very last breath.


COOKEVILLE, Tennessee (WDEF) – Recovery teams found a body before the Cummins Falls on Thursday morning.

But instead of the 73 year old woman who was presumably swept away in the flash flood Wednesday, the victim was a 45 year old woman from Sale Creek.

Now family members are saying that Lisa Michelle Hillian saw the story about the missing woman, and went to the state park to help find her.

Park officials and the TBI are investigating to find out what happened to “Missy.”

The EMA Director of Jackson County says Hillian was not part of the official search party.

He says she was on her own and remained on the river after they left for the day.

The TBI is waiting on an autopsy report to determine how she died.

In the meantime, the search continues for the body of the 73 year old victim lost in the flood.low the park’s falls.

Hillian was a national sales manager for an outdoor equipment store in Sale Creek.

The company issued this statement on her loss on Friday afternoon:

It is with a heavy heart and soul to report to you that we have lost our dear friend and sister, Missy Hillian, in a tragic accident. There are no details we can offer at this time. We’re all devastated and our sympathies go out to her family and friends across the world.

CAS has always been more a family than a company. Missy has been an integral part of CAS for nearly two decades. As National Sales Manager, Missy loved her customers very much, as much as she loved the people of this company. Her smile, laughter, practical jokes and hijinks are now a treasured part of our history. Her loss will no doubt be felt for years to come.

Her impact on this industry and on the individual lives of those she touched is unmeasurable. Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers, and us as well as we try to pick up the pieces. We will keep you informed of the arrangements once they’re announced by the family.

Categories: Hamilton County, Local News

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