GREAT FALLS – Family and friends of Brittney Roberts walked along the Missouri River on Thursday, hoping to find some sign of the young woman who was last seen Monday, April 23rd.
Brittney’s father Tommy Roberts drove up from Absarokee to help with the search, and describes his daughter as a shining light: “She has always been charismatic and she has always loved people.”
The Roberts moved from North Carolina to Montana when Brittany was 11 years old. About 10 months ago, Brittany decide to leave the nest and move to Great Falls to join the love of her life.
Brittney and Jessica Goodman soon started their lives together and got engaged last November.
But last week, Goodman’s life was turned upside down.
“She was upset and she went off for a walk. I went to follow her and she asked me not to follow her,” Goodman said.
A couple hours later, Goodman had a feeling that something was not right.
“I checked KRTV and that’s where I noticed they were doing a search and rescue,” Goodman said.
Goodman and her family went to Giant Springs State Park, where search crews found a shoe in the water, and Goodman confirmed it belonged to Brittney.
Tommy said, “I got the call from Jessica and she was like, ‘I need to talk to you.’ She was hysterically crying. ‘Brittney fell into the Missouri River and went over the dam'”.
Roberts says he was in shock and soon he was on his way to Great Falls to search for Brittney.
“I know for certain it’s her because she would never just disappear for ten days,” Roberts said.
Tommy and Goodman both say they will not give up hope until Brittney is found.
“We were inseparable and not having her here hurts so badly. I just want her back so bad,” Goodman said through tears.
Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News
(MAY 1, 2018) Dozens gathered for a candlelight vigil Monday night in Absarokee to remember and honor the woman presumed to have drowned in the Missouri River near Great Falls last week.
Brittney Roberts, 21, was seen in the river last Monday. Her body has not been recovered.Brittney Roberts
Family was able to identify it was indeed Roberts by a shoe recovered during the search efforts.
Witnesses saw Roberts near the caboose on the River’s Edge Trail before she was spotted in the water coming toward Black Eagle Dam by dam workers. The dam workers said they tried to help the woman but the current was too strong and she went through the dam.
Search and rescue crews spent most of Monday looking for Roberts and have been back out on the water and along the shore six times since then trying to find her.
The search has been hampered by weather and debris in the water.
Her father spoke at the vigil. “This has truly, I hate to put it like this, one of the happiest nights I’ve had in seven days right here right now. I feel all the love. I can feel the warmth of the light right now. I haven’t felt it in seven days. These seven days have felt like seven years to me.”
After the vigil, her father posted on Facebook: “Thank you everyone for coming out to Brittneys Vigil tonight . I felt the warm tender love from everyone who was there and the ones that were there in mind and spirit . You guys are giving me the strength I need to get up every morning and say today is the day that God has given to me . Baby girl we will put your body to rest . Daddy loves you.”
Roberts leaves behind a 1 1/2-year old son, and a fiancee.
Memorials can be made at Altana Federal Credit Union in Brittney’s name or by mail Brittney Robert Memorial, c/o Angela Kallevig, Altana, P.O. Box 143, Columbus, MT 59019 to help the family with expenses.