Missing Florida Woman Reportedly Last Seen in Alligator-Infested Waters

by Matthew Memrick

Video footage of a missing Florida woman last seen in alligator-infested waters has come to light.

Authorities say 31-year-old Paola Miranda-Rosa is schizophrenic and has bipolar disorder. According to the New York Post, the woman was last reported missing by her family on Dec. 17 at a relative’s Orlando apartment.

Hikers caught who they think is Miranda-Rosa swimming and wading in an alligator-infested river right before she vanished.

The park is a 23-minute drive northwest of Orlando.

Sheriff’s Office: Hikers Saw Woman In River

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office revealed the video of someone they think is Miranda-Rosa at Wekiva Springs State Park on Dec. 18. The sighting came a day after her family last saw her.

Hikers witnessed a woman swimming by herself in the river, and family members identified her as Miranda-Rosa, the sheriff’s office said.

As part of the search, authorities used high-tech underwater cameras to pan through the 4.5 miles of river near the woman’s last location. They’re also looking at the woods on both sides of the Wekiva River. 

The Orlando Sentinel reported that over 150 law enforcement officers searched the park for Miranda-Rosa. They used planes, drones, boats, SCUBA divers, bloodhounds, and volunteers on horseback.

Missing Woman Had Lunch With Family Before Disappearance

According to The Orlando Sentinel, the missing woman had lunch with family on Dec. 17. Afterward, she went to a doctor’s appointment. 

The woman’s sister and mother posted a YouTube video recently to talk about the situation.

Her sister Andrea Miranda said Miranda-Rosa made an ATM deposit before going to the state park. There, hikers spotted her in the water. 

“After that, Paola has just vanished,” Miranda told the newspaper. “The park has been completely searched. She’s not there. At this point, we’re searching everywhere for her.”

In another video, mother Ivonne Rosa said he felt like her daughter had a mental health episode. Rosa thought the woman got confused and lost and needed help finding her way home. 

Wildlife Officials Say Alligator Attacks Are Rare

According to the Wekiva Springs State Park website, the alligator-filled river is 16 miles long, but wildlife officials say attacks rarely occur.

An Orlando woman lost part of her right arm in 2015 in that river while on a swim.

While her car was found in the park two days after she was reported missing, no one has reported seeing the woman since. 

Authorities said Miranda-Rosa said the woman had made threats to harm herself in the past. But the family said she had not made any recent threats.

According to the sheriff’s office, Miranda-Rosa wore blue denim shorts and a green or white shirt before her disappearance. She stands at 4 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 145 pounds. She has red hair and brown eyes.