Woman's body in public pool goes unreported for two days

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 30, 2011 12:59 PM
Woman's body in public pool goes unreported for two days

BOSTON (Reuters) - The body of a woman who apparently drowned in a state-run swimming pool in Massachusetts remained in the water unnoticed for two days until passersby finally alerted police, authorities said on Thursday.

No one reported seeing Marie Joseph, 36, between Sunday and late on Tuesday, when police were called to Veterans Memorial Swimming Pool in a park in southeastern Massachusetts where they found her in the water, Fall River Police Lt. Roger LaFleur said on Thursday.

"There were some individuals who were in the park and who noticed there was a body in the pool and subsequently called police," LaFleur told Reuters.

Authorities said visitors to the recreational pool on Monday and Tuesday apparently didn't notice Joseph's body.

"Obviously, this situation is sort of unbelievable, and investigators are looking at every lead, every angle," he said.

Joseph, a resident of Fall River, a city about 50 miles south of Boston, was last seen at the pool on Sunday. Her belongings were later found there, but she had not been reported missing, police said.

Police Chief Daniel Racine told a news conference Joseph may have had an accident on a water slide at the pool, citing a 9-year-old boy whom she had been taking care of on Sunday.

The boy said Joseph accidentally went down the slide and landed on top of him, then went underwater and failed to resurface.

All state-operated deep-water pools were closed on Wednesday by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation until further notice.

The investigation is ongoing. An autopsy and interviews with Joseph's family members, pool employees and others who were at the pool on Sunday were expected to be completed soon.

(Reporting by Zach Howard; editing by Chris Michaud and Cynthia Johnston)