By Mara Brooks, Editor

The Vermont State Police have identified the victim found dead in the waters of Lake Champlain last Friday as Katherine Curley, 74, of Evergreen, Colorado.

An autopsy was performed at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington. The cause of Ms. Curley’s death was found to be drowning, and the manner of death was ruled an accident.

The other person aboard the boat at the time of the incident was William F. Snow, 76, also of Evergreen, Colorado.

At about 10 a.m. on Friday, troopers from the Williston Barracks responded to the area of Point Bay Marina in Charlotte for a report of a missing person. Troopers learned that an off-duty firefighter who was fishing on the lake at about 9:30 a.m. had located an elderly man who appeared to be experiencing mental distress alone on a sailboat off the shore of Cedar Island.

Boat launch looking at Lake Champlain in Charlotte. Photo by Mara Brooks.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded from the Burlington station and towed the 29-foot sailboat and its occupant back to shore. At that time, first responders learned that a second occupant might have been on board. Subsequently, dispatch received a 911 from another boater who reported finding a body at about 10 a.m. located off the shores of Cedar Island. The Coast Guard and Charlotte Volunteer Fire Department responded and located the body of a woman.

Through investigation, troopers with the Vermont State Police were able to determine that Ms. Curley and Mr. Snow had left Charlotte together on Thursday night for an evening outing on the sailboat but never returned to the marina.

Members of the Vermont State Police, including detectives with the Criminal Division and troopers with the Field Force Division, investigated. Preliminary indications were that Ms. Curley fell overboard and drowned. There was no evidence suggesting the incident was suspicious, police said.

Ms. Curley’s remains were transported to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy. Mr. Snow was taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center for evaluation. Their identities were initially withheld pending notification of relatives.

State police will provide updates as the investigation continues.