Body recovered of De Soto woman believed to have been swept away by floodwaters

The body of a De Soto woman was found in the Mississippi River after she was reported missing and was possibly swept away by floodwaters.

The Vernon County Sheriff’s Office said it received a report of a missing person at 6:54 a.m. The caller stated that Mary Heath, 74, may have wandered away from the residence during the night and been swept away by the Mississippi River.

The residence is located on a roadway off of Blackhawk Park, which is underwater from the spring thaw. The only way to access the residence is by boat.

First responders with the Wheatland and De Soto fire departments, along with the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office, launched their boats from the Victory boat landing to get to the home.

Authorities were able to make contact with a boater who had located Heath’s body approximately 300 yards downriver from the home. Personnel from the three departments were able to recover the body at 7:25 A.M. and return to the boat landing.

The Vernon County coroner pronounced Heath dead at the scene.

The Ferryville Fire Department also responded to the scene.

The incident remains under investigation by the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office.

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