Body of Missing Woman Found

Body of Missing Woman Found

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Jed Boal ReportingSgt. Paul S. Jaroscak, Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office: "This is a tragic, tragic accident and it could happen to anyone."

A search team with dogs found the body of a 76-year old woman this morning, nearly a full day after she disappeared from her back yard in Millcreek in Salt Lake County. The woman suffered from dementia and apparently fell into Millcreek and was swept away. She is the first Utahn to die this spring in the swift run-off.

Millcreek is really moving, like most mountain streams in the state. Cynthia Lark was last seen alive gardening in her back yard around 24 hours ago; the stream runs through that yard.

76-year-old Cynthia Lark feared going outside and never wandered away before. But police think she disappeared in the thick woods behind her house where Millcreek flows swiftly. Search crews got started last night, prodding the dangerous water with poles. They resumed this morning scouring deep brush in the neighborhood with the help of the SWAT team. And they took to the air to get a another view.

Before noon a search dog and handler found the body in the creek. She was discovered about a half-mile down stream from her home.

Sgt. Paul S. Jaroscak, Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office: "The creek runs very close to their home. So, it's just a tragic accident. We think she may have gone outside to look for cats, that was her habit, and may have wandered too close."

Police do not yet know the cause of death, but do not suspect foul play. Deputies have no physical evidence to prove Lark fell into the creek, but the circumstances make it likely. When a search dog was first given her scent in her back yard, it went right to the creek.

Family members told police, that in addition to her dementia, Lark was not very steady on her feet and was frightened of rapid movement. She may have become panicky near the water.

Sgt. Paul S. Jaroscak: "Those banks are slippery, they're unstable with the high water, so we caution people. It's interesting to look at the water, but stay well away from the water."

The water is very cold too. There's simply a poor chance of survival if a person goes in right now.

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