Valparaiso woman with dementia drowns in pond behind house
Post-Tribune staff report September 3, 2012 8:36PM
Updated: October 5, 2012 6:21AM
VALPARAISO — An 80-year-old Valparaiso woman with dementia accidentally drowned in a pond behind her Morgan Township residence between Sunday night and Monday.
The Porter County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call at 1:30 p.m. Monday on East Division Road that Ethel Bottom was last seen going to bed Sunday night and was missing.
Several police and fire agencies, including the Lake County Sheriff’s Department helicopter, responded for the search.
At about 3:25 p.m., officers on the helicopter spotted Bottom in one of the ponds behind the residence. Officers on the ground took a small rowboat out on the pond and brought Bottom to shore, where she was pronounced dead of apparent drowning.
There were no signs of foul play and police believe the incident to be an accidental drowning.
Bottom was known to walk around the property and on some of the trails behind the residence.
Assisting agencies included Valparaiso Police Department; Morgan Township Fire Department; Washington Township Fire Department; Lake County Sheriff’s Department; Porter County Emergency Management Agency; Indiana Conservation officers; and Porter County Coroner’s Office.