Suzanne Lawrence

Suzanne Lawrence, 62, East Hampton, NY

No foul play in woman’s death

Rhinecliff – A woman whose body was found along railroad tracks Wednesday north of the Rhinecliff train station was not a victim of foul play, the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office reported Thursday.

They identified the woman as Suzanne Lawrence, 62, of East Hampton, NY, who was reported missing on April 10.

Her body was found around 5 p.m. on April 11 on the banks of the Hudson River by fishermen.

The medical examiner’s report stated the cause of death was due to medication and hypothermia. “There is no reason to believe that there was any foul play or suspicious circumstances involved,” said Det. Daren Cummings. “We don’t know why she was in the area, although family members said she was fond of Rhinebeck.”

Because of the proximity to the railroad tracks, authorities asked CSX Rail to show down train traffic during the onsite investigation. That took about 2 ½ hours, police said.

Riverside death probably a suicide, police say By Patricia Doxsey, Freeman staff 04/13/2007

RHINECLIFF - The woman who was found dead on the Hudson River shore this week apparently committed suicide, police said on Thursday.

An autopsy concluded that Suzanne Lawrence, 62, of East Hampton, Long Island, died of a medication overdose and hypothermia, according to the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office.

Detective Jason Mark, the lead investigator in the case, said Lawrence was the subject of a missing-person report filed Tuesday in East Hampton and that local investigators found a note in Lawrence's car, near where her body was discovered, suggesting her death was imminent.

"It appears to be a goodbye kind of note," Mark said.

The note did not refer to suicide, but "there were some things in there where she was talking about her suffering," the detective said.

Police said almost immediately after Lawrence's body was found that her death did not appear to be the result of a crime.

The body, partially concealed by brush, was discovered by two fishermen about 5 p.m. Wednesday on the rocky shore of the river between the Rhinecliff train station and the Rhinebeck water-filtration plant, police said. The site is the end of Slate Dock Road.

Police did not say how long the body might have been there.

Mark said the contents of Lawrence's note and other documents found in her car indicated she had been ill for some time, though he didn't know what illness she might have had.

Mark also said there were empty prescription bottles both in the car and in Lawrence's possession and that there were pictures and other documents in the car.

Asked about Lawrence's connection to Northern Dutchess, police said she had friends in the area and enjoyed spending time outdoors.

The autopsy on Lawrence was performed Thursday at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie. Mark said authorities are awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine the type and amount of medication in Lawrence's system when she died.

©Daily Freeman 2007