Body found in Palmyra Township confirmed as woman missing from Sylvania

By Melissa Burnor

PALMYRA – The partially decomposed body of a woman found by a man spreading lime in a Palmyra Township farmer’s field Friday afternoon has been identified as the woman missing from Sylvania since mid-September.

Lenawee County Undersheriff James Anderson confirmed Tuesday that dental records provided for Catherine A. Sackrider had positively identified the remains as the 59-year-old Indiana woman who had been missing from Sylvania, Ohio.

The victim, who lived in LaGrange County, Ind., had been reported missing Sept. 24 to the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Office after she allegedly failed to return home from visiting her daughter and son-in-law the Toledo area. Her vehicle was later found abandoned in a park behind the Starlite Plaza on Monroe Street in Sylvania. She was reportedly last seen Sept. 18 after visiting her daughter in the Toledo area, according to a news release from Lenawee County Sheriff Jack Welsh.

Her body was discovered near the back corner of an unused wooden barn in the 6000 block of Scott Highway.

According to Welsh, Lenawee Central dispatch initially received a call reporting the body found at 1:20 p.m. Nov. 9. When officers responded, they found the partially decomposed remains of what they believed to be a woman.

Scott Highway Barn
Body of missing woman found Nov. 9 behind Palmyra Township, Michigan, barn

An autopsy conducted Saturday, Nov. 10, at ProMedica Bixby Hospital had confirmed the body was that of a woman, but did not establish identification, Anderson had said Monday. Police had believed it was a women based on the clothing she was wearing. Police are awaiting laboratory results in hopes these may explain how the woman died.

The cause and manner of death are also key elements in the investigation and were undetermined in the autopsy, according to Welsh. But he had earlier said authorities do suspect foul play. The location of her death also remains unknown, according to the Tuesday Welsh news release.

The Lenawee County Sheriff’s Department had first notified the Sylvania Township, Ohio, Police Friday afternoon after a sheriff’s detective remembered seeing a recent report about a missing person from their area, Welsh said in a weekend news release. That missing person was Catherine A. Sackrider.

The Lenawee County Sheriff’s office will continue working with the Sylvania Township Police and the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation.

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