2009-10-07 / Front Page

Police identify body of “Jane Doe”


HURON COUNTY - A floating body found in Saginaw Bay on Saturday, September 26 has been positively identified as the missing woman from the Port Crescent State Park Day beach from earlier last month according to Huron County Sheriff Kelly Hanson.

Hanson explained that late last Monday, Deputy Richard Koehler delivered the dental records of Catherine Hoskinson to the Saginaw County Medical Examiner’s Office. Koehler met with Deputy Sheriff Chris Vanhorn of the Arenac County Sheriff ’s Office and forensic examiners who had just completed the autopsy on the “Jane Doe” that had been found in Saginaw Bay, in Arenac County.

A Coast Guard patrol boat from the Tawas station had recovered the body near Gravely Shoals Lights in Saginaw Bay, which is nearly 25 miles west of the Port Crescent State Park Day Use park. However, due to several discrepancies, they were unable to positively identify the body at the time.

At around 8:15 p.m. last Monday, it was determined the badly decomposed body was that of Hoskinson. Forensic Pathologist Dr. Kanu Viarani and Forensic Dental Expert Dr. William Lichon were able to make the positive identification.

The cause of death has been determined to be drowning and family members have been notified. The investigation will be considered to be closed.

On Monday, September 21, at around 1 p.m., Huron Central Dispatch received a call from park manager Betsy Kish about some personal items that were found on the beach that led her to believe someone may be missing.

Deputy Duane Miller and Deputy Sergeant Gary Polega arrived on the scene and began to investigate. Through the course of the investigation, they learned that a local walker was on the beach and discovered some clothes, car keys, a Michigan driver’s license and a cell phone at around 10 a.m. near the eastern edge of the swimming area.

Sheriff ’s deputies used Hoskinson’s cell phone to contact her family, who indicated she was missing, perhaps since Sunday, September 20. The family did indicate that she had some recent personal issues and had been depressed. On Wednesday, September 23, her family told the Sheriff ’s Department they had received a suicide note that day that was drafted on early Sunday morning.

Hanson wanted to thank everyone who was involved in the prolonged search and rescue effort. “On behalf of the Huron County Sheriff ’s Office and the family of Catherine Hoskinson, I would like to thank all of the area residents, state park personnel and the specialized volunteers who came from across Michigan to assist in this search,” he said.

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