by Guy Page
A Middlebury teenager reported missing March 29 and found dead April 3 died from hypothermia, authorities say.
Rebecca Ball, 17, of Middlebury died of hypothermia due to environmental exposure, and the manner of death was an accident due to exposure to a cold environment that occurred when she was outside in Weybridge, the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner’s Office told state police Thursday, August 3.
Around 4:26 PM April 3, a canine search team from New England K9 Search and Rescue located her body in a wooded area on the west side of Otter Creek north of Beldens Falls, state police say.
The discovery followed a days-long search by community volunteers, Middlebury Police Department, Vermont State Police Search and Rescue Team, the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, New England K9 Search and Rescue, the Vermont State Police Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAVs) Team and the Vermont State Police Underwater Recovery Team (URT), and a Vermont National Guard helicopter.
Temperatures on March 29 were mostly in the high 30’s. April 1 temperatures ranged from 33 degrees before dawn to about 68 degrees at mid-day. April 2 was much colder, barely rising above freezing during the day and in the low 20’s at night, according to weatherspark.com.
According to the Middlebury Campus, the Middlebury College newspaper, authorities said that “Ball had maintained a respectful relationship with the police department, showing willingness to go with officers when they approached her, she often did not respond well to hailing efforts such as shouting her name in the wilderness…. Ball’s lack of winter clothing, phone, water and her medication when she wandered off this time likely resulted in her death.”
Middlebury Police Department officers began searching for Ball on March 29 in a park where where Ball was last seen, the Campus said. According to media reports, “Ball left a counseling appointment in the afternoon, leaving her jacket, cell phone and water bottle behind at the office –– she was reported missing about an hour and a half later.”
Categories: Police Reports