Cops stumped after missing mom’s body found in frigid Lake Michigan
The body of a missing mother has been pulled from icy Lake Michigan, five days after she was last seen hundreds of miles away in Wisconsin, police said.
Kenosha police told the Detroit Free Press that the remains of Amanda Hanover, 39, of Kalamazoo County, were discovered Saturday, not far from the shore in the frosty waters of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. Her cause of death was unclear, police said.
“My heart goes out to Amanda Hanover’s family,” Kenosha police Lt. James Beller told the newspaper. “This is never an easy time.”
Investigators are stumped as to why Hanover was in Kenosha since she had no ties to the city, including family or friends. She was last seen some 200 miles away by relatives in Michigan on March 18. Her unoccupied car was found in Kenosha two days later, with her cellphone, keys and clothing inside, according to the newspaper.
Detectives then started searching for the woman — who has a history of disappearances — on Thursday, with police in nearby Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, using an aerial drone.
“I was shocked,” Nancy Banks, of Kenosha, told WITI of the gruesome find. “I couldn’t believe it. She was a gorgeous lady and to find that somehow she came here and died so mysteriously, I mean, they haven’t said anything. I’m interested to find out if there was foul play or anything.”
An autopsy was conducted Monday, although additional toxicology testing is needed to determine Hanover’s cause and manner of death. But there’s no indication that foul play was involved, Beller told The Post.
“We’re still looking into her death and why she was here — in Kenosha — and how she ended up in the water,” Beller said, adding that investigators have been in contact with her family.
Hanover had disappeared in the past, including from her home near Phoenix last year. Her car was found a month later on the campus of the University of Calgary in Canada, KTAR reports.
As for Hanover, police in Niskayuna, New York, said she may have ventured into Canada before being located across the country following her disappearance. She was found in a distressed state by officers while trying to flag down motorists, cops said.
“It’s a very unique case that we’re trying to answer some questions with,” Niskayuna Deputy Police Chief Michael Stevens told the station in June. “There’s a lot of people that are interested to know how you make it across possibly two countries with no belongings.”
“She told us that she couldn’t remember her name, and the officers believed her,” Stevens added. “They didn’t think she was being evasive.”
At the time, Hanover was found carrying two train tickets, including one with the name of an unidentified man. She also had a Post-it note with three phone numbers on it, including one that belonged to her uncle, who helped investigators ultimate identify her, according to the station.
Hanover’s mother, Patricia Schachtner, told CTV News that her daughter had been struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder after being assaulted in 2017. She later left Arizona and her 11-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter behind as she sought a divorce from her husband, according to the station.
Beller, meanwhile, said he was familiar with those news reports but had no information to provide on Hanover’s ex-husband.
Anyone with information about Hanover is asked to call Kenosha police at (262) 605-5203.
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