Drag Marks In Snow Lead Police To Body Of Woman In Northern Michigan

WWJ News
December 12, 2019 - 12:39 pm
Leelanau body investigation

(Photo:  Leelanau County Sheriff's Office)

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**UPDATE 12/13: Police Identify Woman Found Dead In Northern Michigan; Suspect In Custody 

(WWJ/AP) A murder investigation is underway in northern Michigan, where a woman was found dead in the snow. 

The body  — believed to be that of a woman in her late 50s to early 70s, according to the Leelanau County Sheriff's Office — was dragged over a hill and left in the rural Maple City area, northwest of Traverse City.

Authorities were called late Wednesday morning by a passerby who wondered if drag marks in the snow might have been caused by someone dumping a dead deer, according to Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich.

He said investigators are treating it as a homicide; though the process has been difficult due to single digit temperatures, high winds and blowing snow. “Someone tried to dispose of or hide a body,” said Borkovich, adding that there were obvious signs of trauma.

Borkovich said further investigation had led police to believe the victim may be a missing Traverse City woman, who was last seen Tuesday night. 

An autopsy is set for Thursday.

As the investigation by the sheriff's office and Traverse City Police continues, Borkovich is urging those in the area to be cautious. "I think it’s important that people stay alert, stay vigilant, pay attention to cars, traffic, different people in the area or different behavior by people,” he said.

Meanwhile, authorities note they are not linking this case to another high-profile investigation Up North.

Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel said doesn't believe the victim is Adrienne Quintal, a Southfield woman who went missing from a family cabin in Honor, back in October. 

K-9 units with specially trained cadaver dogs last weekend searched 1,000 acres of woods near the cabin for Quintal, but turned up nothing.

Schendel said detectives are now "90% sure" she's not out there; and will concentrate on two other theories: that Quintal was abducted, or that she staged her disappearance. "It’s a riddle we have to solve and figure out what exactly happened,” Schendel told UpNorthLive.

More on the Quintal case HERE