Eugenie E. Ehlers last had contact with her family Thursday morning, and they reported her missing Friday.
Their worst fears were confirmed Saturday when her body was pulled from Buffalo Creek.
The body of the 83-year-old was found in about 2 feet of the chilly water, said West Seneca Police Lt. James Unger.
“We believe that she most likely had been missing from sometime Thursday, we don’t know what time,” he said. “Her last contact with family was Thursday morning.”
Authorities were on the lookout for the woman, who was 5-foot-3 and weighed 125 pounds, after the missing person report was filed. But it was not until her car was found in the parking lot of the Nickel Creek Cafe near Clinton Street and Borden Road at about 1 p.m. Saturday that police and firefighters began searching the nearby Buffalo Creek.
Authorities searched from Transit Road to the Buffalo border with West Seneca, and it was near the city line that Ehlers was discovered by volunteer firefighters.
“The searchers were walking in probably about 2 feet of water along the creek edge,” Unger said. “She was located about 2 feet from shore.”
Police do not know how she died, but an autopsy will be performed by the Erie County medical examiner’s office.
“At this point, we’re still investigating it as a suspicious death,” Unger said. “We’re not ruling anything out.”
He said the search turned to the creek based on a previous incident involving Ehlers, which he declined to describe.
He said that Ehlers was not known to have dementia.
Police asked the community to report any signs of the woman, and also called in Erie County Sheriff’s Air One helicopter, which started searching the area at about 3 p.m.
“They had done a sweep from Transit Road overpass to the grain elevators at the lake,” Unger said.
But it was firefighters walking in the creek at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday who discovered the woman.
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