Missing Indian-American found dead near Chicago

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 10, 2010 04:24 hrs

Chicago: An Indian-American who was reported to have disappeared from her Maine Township home near here in January was found dead in the Des Plaines River and authorities suspected suicide in her drowning death.

The body of Sangitagen Patel, 32, was recovered Sunday afternoon in Allison Woods Forest Preserve in unincorporated Wheeling Township, according to a Cook County Sheriff's office release.

There were no signs of foul play, authorities said. An autopsy by the Cook County Medical Examiner determined the cause of death was drowning.

After interviewing those who knew Patel, Cook County Sheriff's Police investigators determined her actions in the days before her disappearance suggested a possible suicide.

The woman was found caught in river debris by a couple about 12:30 p.m. about one-quarter of a mile south of Milwaukee Avenue.

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Identification was initially made through personal property, including jewellery, found at the scene. Her family positively identified her body Monday.

Pael was last seen on Jan 2 as she left for her job at a Subway restaurant in Wheeling.

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