Missing woman to sister: ‘We are floating in a house’

Clockwise from top left: McComb Family; Ralph and Sue Carey; Randy and Michelle Charba; Michelle Charba and son.
Clockwise from top left: McComb Family; Ralph and Sue Carey; Randy and Michelle Charba; Michelle Charba and son.

WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) — Eight people from two different families have been confirmed missing in Wimberley following flooding Saturday night; the two families were together when the flooding happened. Three of those missing people are the daughter-in-law and grandchildren of former Nueces County Commisioner Joe McComb, he confirmed to KXAN. McComb’s son, Jonathan McComb, was pulled from the floodwaters and taken to a San Antonio hospital for treatment. He is expected to be OK.

All the families were spending a weekend together in Wimberley when the flooding happened.

Clockwise from top left: McComb Family; Ralph and Sue Carey; Randy and Michelle Charba; Michelle Charba and son.
Clockwise from top left: McComb Family; Ralph and Sue Carey; Randy and Michelle Charba; Michelle Charba and son.

The confirmed missing include:

  • Laura McComb and her two children, Leighton and Andrew
  • Ralph and Sue Carey
  • Randy and Michelle Charba, daughter of Ralph and Sue, and their 4-year-old son Will

Julie Shields said she was on the phone with her sister, Laura, when their cabin was swept away.

“We are floating in a house that is now floating down the river,” Laura told Shields on the phone. “Call mom and dad. I love you, and pray.”

Those were the last words Shields had with her sister.

“My sister will always be my sister,” Shields added.

The conversation ended when Laura thought she saw a light from a helicopter that was there to rescue them.

“And I just expected to go to Wimberley High School the next day and find her,” said Shields. “When she wasn’t there, I knew something was very, very wrong.”

Jonathan was found 12 miles away and was taken to a San Antonio hospital for treatment. Laura and their two kids, Leighton and Andrew, are still missing. Shields said Jonathan did everything he could to help save them, but the cabin eventually split apart, separating the four.

“The blessing in all of this is she is with her children and her babies, and she’ll be with her babies always in heaven — and we know that — as a family,” said Shields, who worked as an anchor and education reporter here at the station for several years.

The McCombs were with Ralph and Sue Carey along with their daughter, Michelle Charba, her husband Randy and their 4-year-old son, Will. All are still missing.