The search for a 40-year-old woman who may have survived a car crash that killed her husband resumed Tuesday, officials in rural northern Illinois told

Authorities resumed searching for Tanya M. Shannon, of Ransom, Ill., at 9 a.m., a spokeswoman for the LaSalle County Sheriff's Office said. No additional information, including the scope of the search, was immediately available.

Shannon is believed to have been riding with her husband, Dale, 41, when their car crashed roughly six miles from their home shortly after leaving a holiday party in nearby Streator, according to LaSalle County Sheriff Thomas Templeton.

A deputy discovered the one-vehicle wreck at around 1:45 a.m. Sunday and found Dale Shannon dead at the scene. Templeton said footprints were found in the snow leading away from the car and one of Tanya Shannon's slippers was found nearby, indicating she might have left the scene to look for help.

But extensive searches have produced no leads.

"It's amazing," Templeton told The Associated Press. "The alternative of her not being there and us missing her in the snow is that someone picked her up along the road."

Shannon -- a mother of four daughters ages 3, 7, 10 and 13 -- is described as 5-foot-2, 125 pounds, with shoulder-length strawberry blond hair and green eyes. She was last seen wearing a red dress and a gray hooded jacket.

Templeton said Shannon is a "dedicated, loving mother" who would have contacted relatives if possible following the crash. 

"We're taking nothing for granted," Templeton said. "As long as we have the resources available, we will continue searching."

Temperatures at the time of the crash were in the teens and there was about 4 inches of snow on the ground. The crash occurred in an "extremely rural area" with farming fields but few barns or residences, Templeton said.

Relatives, meanwhile, are "holding onto every ounce of hope" for a safe return, Donna Baker, Dale Shannon's sister, told WGN-TV.

"It's been like a nightmare you can't wake up from," she said. "If anyone has seen anything, please contact us. These four girls need something."

Anyone with information on Tanya Shannon or the accident is asked to call LaSalle County Sheriff's Office at (815) 433-2161.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.