Police Reports

Middlebury teen died of hypothermia

Photo of Rebecca Ball issued during search for her in the spring

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

4 replies »

  1. Indeed tragic beyond any description. Having volunteered in the search for a woman that was never found in Andover, VT I was not impressed with the skill sets employed. A legion of goobers riding around on ATVs and walking snowmobile trails.

    The search took a personal twist as my own mother was suffering from Alzheimer’s induced paranoia. Without warning, wandering off to hide. Throughout my effort I witnessed no evidence of searchers to venture into the most dense, pricker thickets, swamps and ledges to find sign.

    State police would do well to learn from the most talented, Northwoods deer trackers. Trackers that have the rare talent to follow a specific deer thru the most dense underbrush without benefit of snow.

    The tragic result of this incident speaks for itself. When a life is on the line it’s no place for amateurs.

  2. So, what drugs (big pharma type) was she on….. Not going to talk about the giant elephant in the room. Which counseling service? Was is Csac? Bet they don’t want you to know that. If not who and when are we going to know what was said that befuddled that girl into suicide, cause that is how I see this. I see a pattern in that place. Hmmmm.

      • Thanks Guy! I rarely read links. Not big fan of other papers , especially the rags the progressives use. I looked other places and found that out last night w/o going to that paper.