The Menard County Sheriff’s Office reports that a woman missing since early Friday morning has been found deceased in the Sangamon River.
At 7:40PM Sunday night, Menard County Sheriff Chief Deputy Ben Hollis reports that at approximately 4:06PM Sunday personnel in a rescue boat reported that they had located what could possibly be a person in the river, north of the of Illinois Route 123 bridge east of Petersburg. Additional units arrived at that location and it was confirmed that a person was indeed in the water. The individual was removed from the water and pronounced dead at the scene.
Hollis says investigators have sufficient evidence to believe the person found is the individual who was reported missing early Friday morning. Identification of the individual is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Previous reports say that a 76-year-old woman, who had previously lived in the Petersburg area, had been reported missing from Springfield on Friday morning. Her white Lincoln SUV was located on the eastern edge of Petersburg near the Illinois 123 bridge over the Sangamon River on Friday by multiple members of law enforcement. Hollis told the State Journal Register that he did not know why the woman was in the area on Friday and that her vehicle wasn’t in any unusual condition when it was found.
An autopsy has been scheduled for Monday at 1PM. Illinois State Police Zone 4 Investigators are said to now be assisting the Menard County Sheriff’s Office and Petersburg Police in an ongoing investigation. The Sheriff’s Office says if you have any information or anyone happened by chance to see someone matching the decedent’s description walking in that area of Illinois Route 123 early Friday morning to please contact the Menard County Sheriff’s Office at (217) 632-2273.
In the update on Sunday night, Hollis thanked the multiple agencies that assisted in the search for the missing woman: “The Menard County Sheriff’s Office and Petersburg Police Department would like to express our sincere appreciation to all of the rescue, fire, and law enforcement agencies that assisted with this incident. We would also like to thank the community members who offered assistance, provided food and water for personnel, and provided information to investigators.”