A 22-year-old woman from Sacramento was found dead Saturday in a Pennsylvania stream, possibly due to suspicious circumstances, authorities said Thursday.
Fiona Kenyon Koell was last seen April 6 in Pittsburgh before leaving for Virginia with her dog, a black trash bag of belongings, a sleeping bag and a bottle of water, said her boyfriend, John Flint, who lives in Pittsburgh. Two days later, a trout fisherman found Koell dead Saturday evening at Letort Spring Run in Middlesex Township, near Harrisburg.
An autopsy indicated that Koell drowned. Toxicology tests are being conducted to determine whether she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, said Detective Gerald Steigleman, of the Middlesex Township Police Department.
Koell, who may hitchhiked from Pennsylvania, was found wearing black clothes and had several bruises on her body, said Cumberland County Coroner Charles Hall. No vehicle was found near the scene and police have ruled out suicide.
“Her death is suspicious,” said Hall. “We are questioning whether this was accidental or otherwise.”
There were no signs of physical or sexual abuse but a bruise found on the back of Koell’s head might indicate she slipped and hit her head on a stone, Steigleman said.
“Our department treats every incident as a homicide until proven,” Steigleman said. “We are checking security cameras in the area right now.”
Koell was born in Sacramento and attended three high schools in the region – American Legion High School, McClatchy High School and Options for Youth – but didn’t graduate from any of them. Her sister, Daisy Ray, who lives in Sacramento did not return calls Thursday.
Koell traveled extensively for three years, said Cora Isabella, who attended the schools with Koell and lives in Virginia, where the two were supposed to meet for a hiking trip.
“She was the greatest person I’ve ever met,” Isabella said. “Everything was so good and fun with her.”
A vigil is planned Friday night near the Andy Warhol Bridge in Pittsburgh, Flint said.