Janet Barber

Grove Sun

Divers discovered the body of a missing Grove woman in Grand Lake Wednesday night over a year after her disappearance.

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 approximately 8 p.m. Wednesday night, GRDA officials and divers started exploring the area where it was believed Seaton might have driven 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 nothing was discovered by GRDA investigators at that time, due to extenuating circumstances and lake conditions.

According to GRDA investigators, a new sonar was purchased recently and officials have been checking areas and ramps where suspect activity has occurred in the past. The new system can detect items in the water up to 40 feet under certain conditions, according to GRDA officials.

A vehicle was located approximately 30 feet from shore in about 20 feet of water at around 9 p.m. 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 it’s 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 and at the stroke of midnight, the vehicle surfaced. 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 unkown pending results from the medical examiner's office.

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