Franklin County Sheriff AJ Smith says that 33-year-old Staci Peterson from Saratoga County arrived in Florida alone last week and while on vacation, she hoped to spread the ashes of her beloved dogs into the waters of northwest Florida.

Sadly, the Florida State graduate hasn't been seen or heard from since, and on Tuesday, the news turned potentially grim.

According to, Stacy Peterson was reported missing over the weekend during her visit to St. George Island State Park and immediately enforcement agencies executed a large search along the beach, Apalachicola Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico holding hoping to find her alive, but sadly, the news has changed a bit.

Members of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office announced on Tuesday that their search and rescue effort is now a recovery effort, according to and members of Peterson's family were down in Florida on Tuesday hoping for some closure.

What could have happened to her, and do the police think it was foul play?

According to sources, the Franklin County Sheriff has ruled out foul play and thinks what happened was just an unfortunate situation.

They believe that Peterson may have gotten swept up in the powerful current which, according to sources, was yellow on Thursday urging people to use caution when entering the water.

"We feel like she probably went for a swim on Thursday and didn't make it back out of the water," said Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith.

When was Peterson reported missing?

According to the source, Peterson was staying at a hotel in Tallassee and on Sunday, a staff member from St. George Island Park noticed her vehicle in the parking lot - unmoved - for two days.

Peterson's phone, wallet, keys, and hotel key card were also found near the location.

Who is Staci Peterson?

Staci Peterson, from Saratoga Springs, is 33 years old and a graduate of Florida State University.  The reports that she came down to Florida alone, and her reason for being there was out of love for her dogs.

"From what we have found, I think she went in the water to go for a swim or maybe waded out to put her dog's ashes in," the Sherriff said.

Photo: Franklin County Sheriff's Office Facebook
Saratoga Springs native Staci Peterson, 33, went missing in Florida recently.  Police fear she may have drowned

Police are asking anyone who may have seen Peterson or something suspicious on the beach, to call FCSO at (850) 670-8500.

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