Police identified a woman found deceased in the Winooski River in Middlesex as Anna Shackett Wagner, 51, of Barre. Her identity became known after receiving tips from members of the public, according to a report sent out July 1. The report goes on to explain what police are doing and how the public can help.
“Detectives are continuing to investigate the circumstances of her death, including a determination on cause and manner by the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington. Police continue to ask that anyone with information about this incident call the Middlesex Barracks at 802-229-9191.”
“The state police thanks the public and members of the news media for their assistance in helping identify the victim.”
Shackett’s body was found last Friday evening in the Winooski River near its confluence with the Mad River.
Detective Sergeant Benjamin D. Katz released the following information regarding the human remains. They were found at 6:26 p.m. on Friday, June 16 by the banks of the Winooski River in Middlesex.
“The deceased is a white woman standing about 5-feet 3-inches tall, weighing 206 pounds, and between 30 and 50 years old. She has tattoos of the names ‘Sue’ and ‘Patty’ on her left forearm, along with other tattoos on her body, including a red and blue butterfly, a pink and yellow five-petal flower on her right foot with leaves going up her ankle, and two roses on her right wrist. She was wearing a large ring on her right index finger with a carved face and headdress.”
“The body was located near 31 Welch Park Drive in Middlesex, near the confluence of the Mad and Winooski rivers. Police do not believe the woman is someone who has previously been reported missing.”
“The cause of death is pending, along with testing that includes examining dental records and DNA in an attempt to identify the individual. It is unclear how long the woman had been deceased at the time the body was found.”
The initial news release came out at 4:40 on Saturday, June 20, and said that at 6:26 p.m. on June 19, two people told police they believed they saw a dead body in the Winooski River. A large number of troopers responded to the scene and decided that, because of the difficult terrain where the body was located, they would begin removal the following morning. “Troopers stayed through the night to protect the scene.”
On Saturday, members of the Vermont State Police scuba team, along with a detective from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and an assistant medical examiner, responded to the scene and removed and examined the body. An autopsy had been scheduled for Sunday June 21 at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
Neither Middlesex Selectboard Chair Peter Hood, nor Middlesex Fire Chief Doug Hanson were present during the event, nor did they have any further inside information.
The Bridge went to various accessible points of that area of the Winooski River, which happens to be across Vermont Route 2 from the Middlesex State Police Barracks. While the river banks in the park area are not too steep, many spots along the Winooski nearby are extremely rocky and steep to the point of being cliff-like.