HONOR — Scars and tattoos confirmed what Ada Quintal’s family was sure of — a body pulled from the Platte River was hers.
The Warren woman’s remains were discovered during a Saturday search organized by Quintal’s family members around the Honor cabin where she was last seen.
A cause of death has yet to be released pending toxicology results, according to a Benzie County Sheriff’s Department release. Quintal’s body, which was found in about three feet of water in a floodplain of the Platte’s north branch, shows no obvious signs of trauma or foul play.
It ends nine weeks of searching and investigating the 47-year-old’s disappearance, which began when deputies found Quintal’s cellphone, handgun and purse in a bullet hole-riddled family cabin on Oct. 17.
Her car was in the driveway.
She was last heard from in a call to a downstate friend around 2:30 a.m. that morning — Quintal said she was in a shoot-out and had shot a man in the face. She asked the friend to call 911.
Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel previously said phone records revealed that friend as the third person Quintal tried calling that morning. He did not return a call for comment Monday.
Deputies found a littering of bullet casings at the scene, but no felled man — and no Quintal. A closer look revealed the shots were all fired from inside the cabin out, marring the ceiling and door and shattering a cottage window. The Indian Hill Road cabin showed little evidence of a shootout, and investigators found no blood or evidence of a break-in or scuffle, Schendel said previously.
The case’s odd circumstances launched several theories and even more law enforcement-led searches with trail and cadaver dogs, which proved unsuccessful. Early-season snow and swampy terrain limited their search areas, according to a Facebook post from Quintal’s sister.
Quintal and her boyfriend had spent two and a half weeks winterizing the cabin for her aging uncle, family told the Record-Eagle. He offered to pay his niece to winterize the rustic home before the cold set in.
Quintal’s boyfriend left two days before the Oct. 17 incident to do some work on the couple’s downstate condo, family told police.
Family members described her as “super smart” and an avid lover of the outdoors with a passion for hunting and gardening. She’d grown up summering at the rural cabin.
The Saturday search that would yield Quintal’s remains was the latest of many, and focused on a flooded area near Indian Hill and Hooker roads that searchers identified as a region of interest earlier this month, according to the release.
Water made it impassable, however, and Quintal’s friends and family worked to drain the water.
Investigators believe Quintal’s body was submerged and hidden from view before the water levels were lowered.
Searchers called Benzie County Sheriff’s Department investigators, who joined them on the scene to recover the then-unidentified body.
See updates when a cause of death is released at www.record-eagle.com.