Well known former Montgomery dance teacher missing off Georgia coast

Published: Jun. 9, 2016 at 9:43 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 10, 2016 at 12:13 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A well known former Montgomery dance teacher is missing off the coast of Georgia. Laura Hutchins and her husband, Raymond, were last heard from Sunday around 11 a.m.

The couple had gone for a ride in their pontoon boat in coastal Camden County. Monday morning, the couple's son reported them missing, saying they never returned from their boating trip.

Shortly afterward, the U.S. Coast Guard launched a search. That same day the couple's boat was found - unmanned - with the engine still running. The couple's dog was still on board.

On Tuesday afternoon, search crews found Raymond's body.

By 9 p.m. Wednesday, the search for Laura was suspended pending any new developments. At this point, the 61-year-old has not been found.

Laura is well known in the River Region. She was a dance teacher for more than 30 years, having owned Laura's School of Dance in Selma, and then in Montgomery. She sold her studio several years ago, but left her mark on hundreds of children she taught over the years.

"People are returning and sending messages and calling and checking on her," explained Tonya Speed, through tears. "They had her as little girls taking dance. The impact is there."

Speed says she and Hutchins danced together for years, even as children. She says Hutchins, appropriate for her career, seems to always be on a stage, radiating joy and lighting up any room she enters.

"Laura is pleasant at all times," Speed said. "Her smile is contagious. She just loves everybody she meets. It's very sad," she cried.

Speed says the Hutchins recently celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary.

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