Bodies of Amador County mother, child found in ice-covered pond

Published: Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 - 3:05 pm | Page 2B
Last Modified: Friday, Apr. 19, 2013 - 12:12 pm

The bodies of an Amador County woman and her 5-year-old daughter reported missing earlier this week were found Thursday morning in an ice-covered pond on their Pine Grove property.

Divers recovered the bodies of Karen Diane Anderson, 46, and Amelia Noelle Arago, 5, about 30 feet from the shore of the pond, according to an Amador County Sheriff's Office news release. Officials said there was no evidence of trauma or foul play.

The Sheriff's Office received a report about 3 p.m. Monday of a loose llama at 14130 Spring Canyon Lane in Pine Grove. A deputy and a county animal control officer secured the llama, but they were unable to locate anyone at the home. About 12:43 p.m. Tuesday, a deputy was dispatched to to the same address to conduct a welfare check of the residents after neighbors reported that they hadn't been seen all day. The deputy did not observe anything suspicious at the residence, officials said.

Tuesday evening, a neighbor called to report that the residents still had not been seen and no one had tended to animals on the property. The neighbor said he had checked the property and found a large hole in the iced-over pond north of the home.

On Wednesday, sheriff's detectives conducted an investigation into the possible disappearance of the residents. They searched the property, including the pond, using a canine. No one was located, but officials said the dog indicated interest in the pond.

Thursday morning, sheriff's search and rescue personnel assisted by canine teams from Wilderness Finders Search Dogs and California Rescue Dog Association searched the surrounding areas and the shoreline around the pond. These dogs also indicated interest in the pond.

CHP aircraft conducted an aerial search, while a dive team from the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office trained in ice-covered water recoveries began an underwater search of the pond.

The divers found a rope, which neighbors indicated was used as a lead for the llama. The divers then located the bodies of Anderson and her daughter in the same area. Authorities said the water was about 8 feet deep and the water temperature was 38 degrees.

The Amador County Sheriff Coroner's Office reported that a forensic pathologist will examine the bodies to determine the cause and manner of their deaths.

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