By Janet Barber, Special To NewsOn6.com
GROVE, OK - Divers discovered the body of a Grove woman reported missing a year ago in Grand Lake late Wednesday night.
Connie Seaton, 42, was last seen around 2 a.m. Monday, May 18, 2009, at her daughter's home in Grove. She reportedly had been with friends for dinner earlier that evening.
At about 8 p.m. Wednesday, GRDA officials and divers started exploring the area where it was believed Seaton may have gone into the lake in her 1996 Lincoln Towncar.
The area was searched at the time of her reported disappearance when two men in the Harbor Road area discovered car tracks leading through the grass, but GRDA investigators were not able to find anything due to lake conditions.
The investigators recently purchased a new sonar that can detect items in the water up to 40 feet under certain conditions.
After only about an hour's search, a vehicle was located about 30 feet from shore in about 20 feet of water. GRDA divers joined the search, coming up with a tag number on the car that matched a vehicle belonging to Seaton. Divers say the vehicle was on its top in the water, and they informed officials on the shore that a body was inside.
Investigators with the Delaware County Sheriff's Department, Grove Police Department, the Medical Examiners office, and the Grove Emergency Management moved in to recover the vehicle and what was suspected to be the body of the missing woman.
Wreckers were brought in from Jay, the vehicle surfaced at midnight. Onlookers watched as the vehicle was brought to land. Investigators moved in to determine the identity of the body and positively identified Seaton by her driver's license, social security card and other personal items still inside the mud-covered vehicle.
"A lot of people were here until the early morning hours. We appreciate all their help and we hope the family can find closure now. They've waited 13 months for tonight," said Delaware County Captain Ron Teel.
The family has been notified and her body has been transported to Tulsa. Cause of death is unknown pending results from the medical examiner's office.