ID awaited after woman's body found in Peru woods by loggers

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PERU — State and local police are working to identify a body found Tuesday morning in a "heavily wooded area" near Curtin Road and to determine whether it is the woman who went missing from her sister's home in Hinsdale in May.

The Berkshire District Attorney's Office issued a statement at 4:01 p.m., noting that an autopsy tentatively is scheduled for Wednesday at the Chief Medical Examiner's office in Boston. The office has jurisdiction over all death investigations in the county, and police will continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the woman whose body has been recovered.  According to the District Attorney's Office, a team of loggers spotted the remains about 1 mile east of Curtin Road. Hinsdale Police Chief Susan Rathbun said the finding occurred between 9:15 and 9:30 a.m., and the workers called 911, reaching a state police dispatcher.

Since then, a state medical examiner out of Holyoke has been assigned to the scene along with members of the Hinsdale and Peru police departments, the Berkshire County State Police Detective Unit, the state Crime Scene Services Section, and troopers from the Cheshire barracks. Assisting in search and recovery efforts were members of the Hinsdale Fire Department,and the volunteer Berkshire Mountain Search and Rescue Team.

Jacqueline "Jackie" Coutinho, 53, disappeared without a trace after walking outside to look at birds in the backyard of her sister's Smith Road home on the morning of May 15. Police have not suspected foul play. State and local police, Berkshire Mountain Search and Rescue and the private firm Hallmark Investigations Bureau all have investigated and searched for Coutinho extensively, with no major leads. Her disappearance remains under investigation. On Tuesday evening, after being notified by authorities of the discovery of a woman's remains, family members behind the "Find Jackie Coutinho" Facebook page posted the following: "We are praying this isn't Jackie. Please pray with us."

 

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