Monday, May 9, 2011

Body recovered in Snake River

Idaho State Police Investigations Region Two, Lewiston
For Immediate Release 05/9/2011
For Information Contact; Charlie Spencer, Detective Lieutenant

Body Recovered in Snake River believed to be that of Lavina Hietala

On May 1, 2011 fishermen discovered a body in the Snake River approximately one mile east of the Central Ferry Bridge in Garfield County, Wa. Garfield County Sheriffs Office coordinated the recovery with several other agencies. The body was not readily identifiable, however based on cursory examination, appeared to fit the physical description of Lavina I. Hietala a 72 year old woman who had been reported missing from her Kamiah, Idaho home on April 1, 2011.
On May 4, 2011 at the request of the Idaho State Police and the Lewis County Coroner, a pathologist from the Ada County Coroners office conducted an autopsy on the body. Based on various medical records and other physical characteristics, the body was tentatively identified as Lavina I. Hietala. Definitive identification will not be available until DNA testing can be completed, which will take approximately 90 days. Investigators are waiting for the medical examiners report for determination of the cause of death.
Hietalas family members have been notified and continue to work with the Idaho State Police in this investigation.

Anyone who may have any information in this case is encouraged to contact ISP Lieutenant Charlie Spencer at (208) 799-5020, or by email at

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