New Milford Woman Found In River With Gunshot Wound to Head

Body of 37-year old woman found submerged in the Hackensack River with fatal gunshot wound to head; weapon found at scene reported stolen from an acquaintance of the victim.

The body of a 37-year old New Milford woman was found by a close relative Tuesday morning with a fatal gunshot wound to the head in the Hackensack River across from the Dorchester Apartment Complex on Columbia Street, Chief of Police Frank Papapietro said. 

Papapietro said that the weapon found at the scene had belonged to an acquaintance of the victim's and had been reported stolen Monday evening. Also found near the body was the victim's purse containing her I.D.

Papapietro said that the woman has been identified, but her name is being withheld until family members have been notified. Papapietro also said that officials are not ready to determine the death a suicide and called the investigation "on-going."

No note was found near the victim's body, but Papapietro said that police will be searching her car and apartment for more evidence. 

According to Papapietro, the family of the woman reported her missing to the late Monday evening. New Milford Police located the victim's car in the parking lot of Shop Rite on River Road. With the assistance of the Bergen County K-9 Unit, police performed an extensive search of the area. However, the dogs lost track of her scent when the tide came in. Her body was discovered by a close family member at approximately 8am Tuesday morning.

"Her body was discovered on the bank of the Hackensack River," Papapietro said. "With the rising tide she was submerged."

Papapietro told Patch that boats from the New Milford and River Edge Fire Departments were dispatched, but the body was recovered by divers from the Bergen County Dive Unit. The Sheriff's Department's Bureau of Criminal Investigation Unit was also at the scene collecting evidence. 

Patch will provide updates regarding this on-going investigation as more information is released. 

JoAnna Evans May 17, 2012 at 11:04 PM


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