BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — The body of a missing woman was found in a Bloomfield Township lake after her empty canoe returned to the shore.
The 44-year-old Bloomfield Township woman was reported missing from the 1300 Block of West Long Lake Road after her unoccupied canoe returned to the shore of Island Lake at around 7:51 p.m. Aug. 12.
“We received a 911 call that we had a missing female and she was believed to be in the water after falling out of a canoe,” said Lt. Paul Schwab of the Bloomfield Township Police Department. “Apparently, she was canoeing, and she was with a friend/caretaker, who noticed that she hadn’t seen her friend for over an hour. So when she went down to the shoreline to look, she found the empty canoe along the shoreline.”
A search of the lake — conducted by the Bloomfield Township police and fire departments, the Troy Police Department, and The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office’s Dive Team — was unsuccessful Aug. 12.
“The Bloomfield Township Fire Department put its boat in the water and started a search of the lake, and the Bloomfield Township Police Department started a search along the shoreline just in case she did get out of the water,” Schwab explained. “The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team arrived about 20 minutes later and put two more boats in the water.”
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team commander requested the assistance of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office’s Aviation Unit, which arrived at the scene and conducted a helicopter and drone search. All search efforts were unsuccessful and were terminated due to the loss of daylight.
“We were losing daylight quickly, but we were out there until probably 3 a.m. searching the lake,” Schwab said.
The Sheriff’s Office and the Bloomfield Township Police Department returned to the scene the morning of Aug. 13.
“Our Fire Department has a drone, so one of our officers who is certified to fly it notified us that he thought what he saw in the water matched the description of the female we were looking for,” Schwab said.
The county dive team took to the water in boats and recovered the body of the woman in approximately 6 feet of water in Island Lake at around 10 a.m. Aug. 13.
Police believe the woman drowned in the lake.
“Unfortunately, the woman was not wearing a life jacket,” Schwab said. “At this time, there are no signs of foul play.”
The case is currently under investigation by the Bloomfield Township Police Department. Anyone with information is asked to call the Bloomfield Township Police Department (248) 433-7755.
To enjoy water recreation as safely as possible, the Bloomfield Township Police Department recommends never paddling alone, always wearing a life jacket, carrying a whistle, and packing a throw bag with a rope and a cellphone.
“Let people know where you are going to be, how long you are going to be out — that way, if you are overdue, they can make some phone calls,” Schwab said.