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Police identify body of female recovered from Petawawa River as 17-year-old Sarah Donovan

May 28, 2019

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The Ontario Provincial Police have released the identity of the body recovered from the Petawawa River on Friday, May 24.

Following a post-mortem examination, the deceased has been identified as 17-year-old Sarah Donovan of Petawawa. Donovan had been missing since May 5 after police responded to a report of a teenage female entering the Petawawa River from the rail bridge in the town.

Police said foul play is not suspected.

The Upper Ottawa Valley OPP Crime Unit led the investigation with assistance from the office of the Chief Coroner and OPP’s Forensic Identification Services. In the initial days after the incident, the search was aided by the OPP helicopter and the Underwater Search and Rescue Team.

Police said a member of the public found the body near West Street in the town of Petawawa at around 4 p.m. on May 24.

First responders including firefighters with the Town of Petawawa Fire Department worked together to recover the body, which was then sent for the post-mortem examination.

The body was found about two kilometres downstream from where Donovan was seen to fall into the river from a railway trestle.

It’s the second tragedy in the town in just over two weeks.

On May 9, police in Pembroke recovered the body of 16-year-old Trinity Poil, who had been missing from her family’s home on Garrison Petawawa since February. The Poil family endured an agonizing five-day wait over the Mother’s Day weekend before a positive identification could be made.

UPDATED: Police identify body of female recovered from Petawawa River on Friday

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