Body of missing swimmer recovered in Northampton

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The body of a missing swimmer was recovered from the Mill River in Northampton Thursday morning.

22News was there as the search came to a tragic end.

Northampton Police Captain John Cartledge told 22News officers found the missing woman’s body underwater beneath a log in the area of Bottums Road.

The woman went into the river on Tuesday, when the current was stronger than usual because of the recent rain. 
“The river was transformed,” Northampton employee Carrie Berman said.

The National Forest Service warns people that even if the water on the surface of the river looks calm, the current just 6 inches below could be drastically different. 

Carrie Bergman took a video of the fast moving water on Tuesday, and sent it to 22News via ReportIt@wwlp.com. She said she had never seen the Mill River move as quickly as it did that day. 

“The area where people swim up above was incredibly glassy and smooth,” Bergman said. “So I can imagine it would be really easy for someone to assume it was safe to swim in, but under the surface there’s a huge volume of water moving through that you couldn’t really see.”

Captain Cartledge said high water levels, downed trees, murky water, and strong currents made the search difficult.

According to Northampton police, the woman’s body was found underwater beneath a log.

The search began on Tuesday after the victim’s clothes, keys, and a towel  were found by the river in the area of Pine Street. Northampton Police Chief Jody Kasper told 22News police identified the victim after locating her parked car, and learned from friends that she often swims in the area.

Northampton police will not be releasing the victim’s name until her family is notified.

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