TRAVERSE CITY — A body dumped in a ravine along a Leelanau County road has been identified as a missing Traverse City resident.
The 62-year-old woman — whose name is being withheld until family is notified — disappeared after a Tuesday argument with her husband, said Traverse City Police Department Capt. Keith Gillis. He left their shared apartment in a huff, returning the next day to discover his wife gone. He last spoke to her over the phone around 8 p.m. the night before.
He reported his wife missing around 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Several hours earlier, a passerby noted drag marks off Kasson Center Road near Maple City, Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich said. They led him to a gruesome scene — a woman’s body.
He called 911.
She showed signs of “serious trauma,” Borkovich told the Record-Eagle Wednesday. He said Wednesday that investigators considered the matter a homicide.
“She was dragged over a ridge, then down into a ravine,” Borkovich said, noting the ridge was about 50 yards off the road and not visible to drivers. “Not something you’d be comfortable walking back up in the snow. It’s work getting up that hill in the snow.”
Leelanau deputies and Michigan State Police crime lab personnel swarmed the scene, investigating and logging evidence until night fell. The dots connected quickly, and Traverse City Police now lead investigative efforts, Gillis said. Borkovich noted that a wealth of evidence was recovered from the crime scene, which MSP is now processing.
The investigation stretched into the morning, and several TCPD officers worked overnight. They spent Thursday morning meeting with the department’s detective bureau and county prosecutors.
“It’s been a long night,” Gillis said.
Initial questions of whether the body might be Ada Quintal, the 47-year-old Warren woman who disappeared from her family’s cabin in Honor in October, were unfounded, Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel told the Record-Eagle.
The woman was identified through an autopsy at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo Thursday. She originally hails from Chicago and had lived in Traverse City for several months, according to Gillis.
Police have stayed mum on further details, including her cause of death.
A person of interest in her slaying has been identified and is lodged in Grand Traverse County’s jail on suspicion of an unrelated crime, Gillis said. He added that the person of interest is not the woman’s husband.
Gillis said investigators believe there is no public danger at this point.
The Leelanau and Grand Traverse County sheriff departments and Michigan State Police crime lab have assisted in the investigation.
“We’re conducting an investigation and we’ll have more details as the investigation goes,” Gillis said. “Let us get the details and put it all together.”
See updates at www.record-eagle.com.