Missing woman's body found - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Missing woman's body found

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Posted: Saturday, April 27, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 12:26 am, Sat Apr 27, 2013.

POST FALLS - After three days of searching, the body of a 70-year-old Coeur d'Alene woman was found in the Spokane River on Friday afternoon.

Joan Gundlach, who apparently committed suicide, according to police, was found by a group of kayakers in the river near Pleasantview Road on the Idaho side near the state line.

"The son (of Gundlach) is an avid kayaker and a group of searchers found her across from the University of Idaho Research Park in about 20 feet of water," Post Falls Police Chief Scot Haug said. "It's a very unfortunate circumstance, but we are pleased she's been located and can put some closure to this case. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family."

An autopsy will be performed next week.

Gundlach's body was recovered by divers from the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office.

Local authorities on Friday had begun collaborating with Washington agencies in the search as the top options on the Idaho side had been exhausted.

A vehicle driven by Gundlach was recovered early Wednesday morning at the Q'emiln Park trailhead in Post Falls next to the Spokane River and Post Falls Dam.

Gundlach had left suicide notes in the vehicle and at home.

Police earlier said evidence was recovered near the river in the park area, but still declined to discuss details on Friday.

That find was one of the reasons law enforcement had Avista Utilities close the south channel of its dam on Wednesday to where no water was flowing through that portion. A search of the channel came up empty.

A volunteer search group also traversed the park on Thursday night, including areas police had searched earlier. The MedStar helicopter had also scanned the river system several times and multiple agencies, including the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, assisted.

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