UPDATE: Body of missing Frankfort woman found near Bear Lake

Law enforcement and first responders from several agencies were on-scene near Bear Lake on Saturday morning searching for a missing Frankfort woman. (Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

Law enforcement and first responders from several agencies were on-scene near Bear Lake on Saturday morning searching for a missing Frankfort woman. (Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

BEAR LAKE — First responders recovered the body of a Frankfort woman who went missing early Friday afternoon while windsurfing on Bear Lake.

Police identified the 66-year-old woman as Carolyn Skaff.

Volunteer members from the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) located her body around 9:39 a.m. today while searching along the shoreline north of Highland Drive and U.S. 31 on Bear Lake, according to the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office.

“We recover the body of the missing female within 50 minutes following our briefing for response to this incident,” said sheriff John O’Hagan. “A great job done by the nearly 50 first responders and volunteers.”

An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday to determine the cause of death.

The search team consisted of members from the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol, the Department of Natural Resources, members of the Bear Lake Fire Department, Michigan State Police, CERT, Munson EMS and Victim Services Unit.

The search was suspended at dark on Friday after Skaff went missing on Bear Lake that afternoon.

Police say Skaff and her husband went out windsurfing on Bear Lake shortly after 2 p.m. on Friday. The 66-year-old woman was about a quarter mile ahead of her husband when he witnessed her go down, but due to the distance, he was unable to give an exact location.

He told police she is an excellent swimmer and an expert windsurfer, having surfed all over the world. She was not wearing a life jacket, according to police.

Deputies from the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office were called out around 4:30 p.m. on Friday to search for a female subject.

The surfboard she was riding on was later located on the east shore of Bear Lake, however, the sail was not found, according to police. High gusty winds and waves exceeding three feet made the search extremely difficult.

The search team on Friday consisted of the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol, the Department of Natural Resources and members of the Bear Lake Fire Department. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flew in from Traverse City to assist. Deputies were also assisted by Munson EMS and members of the Bear Lake Fire Department who searched the ground in and around the entire lake.

The case remains under investigation.

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