UPDATE: Body Pulled from the Kishwaukee River; Death Classified as Murder

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UPDATE: Detectives believe the woman found dead in the Kishwaukee River over the weekend was murdered. The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office says eight investigators and Rockford Police are on the case.

The woman has been identified as 46-year-old Beverly Gritzmaker. Police say her autopsy showed she sustained trauma to her upper body. More test results are still pending. Investigators say there’s no clear idea of where the crime may have been committed so they have to dig deep and try to retrace Gritzmaker’s steps as far back as they can.

“Who this lady had been with, who are her friends, what are her habits, what is her lifestyle, where is her family, when was the last time someone had contact with her, try to put all that information together so it’s a time-consuming process,” said Deputy Chief Dominic Iasparro with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Chief Iasparro says they don’t know how long the body was in the water, but all it takes is days before some of the crucial evidence is washed away by the water, evidence that is key to finding out how Gritzmaker died and who may have killed her.
Investigators say cases like these can take a long time to solve.

Anyone with information in this case is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at 815-319-6300 or CrimeStoppers at 815-963-7867.


UPDATE: The woman whose body was found in the Kishwaukee River has been identified as 46-year-old Beverly Gritzmaker of Rockford.

According to the Winnebago County Coroner, the cause of death is inconclusive pending further forensic studies. Toxicological tests will be available in about two weeks.

Winnebago County Sheriff's Police are investigating the incident.


WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- A gruesome discovery for a boater today as he finds a body in the Kishwaukee River.

Investigators are now just in the beginning stages of determining who the person is and where they came from.

Investigators pulled the body out of the water near Atwood Park and the Kishwaukee Gorge Forest Preserve, which is just west of I-39.

The coroner's office believes it's a white woman, but say it's too hard to tell for sure because it was covered in so much residue. At this point the coroner and sheriff's department isn't even sure how the person died; if it was from natural causes, suicide, or foul play.

Fire fighters say it can be tough on crews when recovering a dead body because it can take an emotional toll on them.

"It can be hard on the guys. It can affect different men different ways, different women different ways, it's always a sad situation when anybody passes away so each call's different for everybody, but we make sure we take care of our own and make sure psychologically we don't have any lasting effects," Cherry Valley Fire Department Lt. Thomas Londo, said.

The coroner’s office says it plans on trying to identify the person Sunday night, but likely won't release any info until an autopsy on Monday.

Anyone with information about who this may be is asked to call the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department.


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