DNA being used to identify victim

The Bartholomew County Coroner’s office will use DNA testing in an effort to identify a woman whose body was recovered from the East Fork White River near downtown Columbus last week.

The investigation into the woman’s death is being handled by the coroner’s office, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s office.

A passing kayaker located the body partially submerged on a sandbar near the Water Street public access ramp in Columbus on Wednesday. The body was recovered a short time later by the county’s water rescue team and divers from Columbus Township Fire Department.

Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting and sheriff’s department spokesman Sgt. Dane Duke said investigators have obtained fingerprints but so far, no positive identification has been made.

On Monday, conservation officers and sheriff’s deputies released a description of the woman in the hopes that someone might recognize what she was wearing and come forward to identify her.

The body is that of a white woman in her late 40s to early 50s, approximately 5 feet, 2 inches and 135 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes, wearing blue jeans, a blue jacket, and a T-shirt that reads, “Las Vegas Nevada Athletic Dept.” She has two scars that could assist in identification, according to investigators.

So far, missing person reports currently on file with area police agencies do not match the woman who was found, investigators said.

Anyone with information of a person who matches this description and may be missing is asked to call Indiana Conservation Officers Central Dispatch, at 812-837-9535, or Duke, at 812-343-0707.