MAYFIELD, Ky. - A Kentucky man made a heartbreaking discovery while searching for loved ones among the debris left behind when a powerful tornado ripped through the community of Mayfield on Friday night.
Thomas Bright spoke with FOX Business Correspondent Grady Trimble Monday morning and said his 80-year-old aunt was among the scores of people who lost their lives during the historic severe weather event across the nation's heartland over the weekend.
Bright said he started to drive to his aunt's home after the storms moved through but was forced to park his vehicle and walk when he approached roads littered with debris and power lines.
And when he saw a school bus garage near her home had been destroyed, his heart sank.
"I was praying that she was alright, but I knew in my heart, she just lived right across the street, that it would be a miracle if her house was still standing," Bright said. "When I got (to his aunt's home), the only thing that I saw was just the foundation was still left."
Bright said he was hopeful that his aunt was just buried under all of the debris that had been left behind.
"I kept calling her name and was searching for her, and then I saw her lying there on the ground," he said.
Bright said his aunt was already dead, so he called 911 and the coroner's office.
He and his family have spent the past two days going through the debris, searching for photographs and anything else to help keep his family's history alive.
And, Bright said, Christmas won't be the same without his beloved aunt.
"We know she's with Jesus and her husband and other family members," he said. "She was a good woman, a Christian woman, so we have no doubt that she's in heaven."
Bright said he will now cherish the memories of the last Thanksgiving that he had with his aunt.
"This past Thanksgiving, the whole family, we were able to get together at my other aunt's house," he said. "She really enjoyed the family being together because it's been a long time since we were together because of COVID."