Police ID woman's body found in submerged car

Divers work to pull a submerged vehicle from the Mantua Creek in East Greenwich Township, New Jersey on August 15, 2011. Police say a woman's body was found inside the car. Officials believe flooding did not play a role in this incident.

August 16, 2011 3:22:21 AM PDT
Police have identified the body of a woman found inside a car submerged in the Mantua Creek.

The woman has been identified as 55-year-old Connie Burns of Maple Shade.

Burns was reported missing by her two sisters shortly after 12:00 p.m. on Monday.

They had last spoken to her by telephone Sunday afternoon when she told them she was in Cherry Hill and planned to attend a family party in Maple Shade that afternoon.

At 4:13 p.m. Sunday, South Harrison Township police received a report of a vehicle driving erratically on Monroeville Road. From information reported to police, it was determined the car was registered to Ms. Burns.

At the time, however, police were unable to locate the vehicle.

Then, an East Greenwich Township resident who was fishing on a boat in the Mantua Creek about a quarter-mile from a Berkley Road boat ramp saw a vehicle partially above the surface of the water at 1:10 p.m. Monday.

East Greenwich police responded and at the same time learned of the missing persons report regarding Burns.

Assisted by equipment from the New Jersey State Police and the Malaga NJ Fire Company, the 2009 Ford Focus was raised to the surface and brought to the Berkley Road boat ramp.

A woman's body was in the driver's seat of the car in a seatbelt. Through body markings, she was identified as Ms. Burns.

An autopsy by the Gloucester County Medical Examine's Office is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Investigators also plan to search the shoreline of the creek on Tuesday in an effort to determine where the car entered the water.

Earlier in the day, East Greenwich Township Police Chief Barry Jenkins told Action News officials do not believe the flooding rains played a part in this incident.

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