Woman's body found at Kohlman Creek

ID'd as area homeless person

Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell announced at 6:30 p.m. Saturday that a woman's body had been found in a wooded area near Kohlman Creek earlier in the day.

At approximately 3:20 p.m. that day, Maplewood police officers were called to a wooded area near Hazelwood and Beam by a man who found a dead body in the creek. Schnell said.

The woman was identified officially Monday afternoon as Victoria Thacker DeConwi, 54. She was also known as Victoria Ann Thacker Conwi.

Thacker reportedly moved from Washington state to Minnesota in 2012. Schnell said she apparently does not have any relatives in Minnesota.

"She has no local address and is believed to have been homeless for a period of time preceding her death," Schnell said in a statement Monday afternoon.

In an interview, Schnell said Maplewood police have had contact with her in various locations in the city recently.

The woman was found by a man going through the park looking for shed deer antlers, Schnell said.

"He found her body and it was quite obvious she had died, so he called 911 immediately."

Officers located Thacker's body about 30 yards from a paved walking path, in the creek bed underneath a steep embankment.

"It's just a sad situation; someone who doesn't have anyone or anywhere to go to," he said.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner, who identified the woman, has not found any indication of foul play. When found, Thacker was fully clothed and partially submerged in the water.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner is working to determine the cause and time of death.

Toxicology tests are still pending; Schnell says those may shed some light on why she tumbled into the creek and apparently was unable to get out. 

"While the woman's death does not appear to have been caused by another person, investigators will be diligent in efforts to find out how and why the woman ended up in the location she was found," Schnell said.

However, many questions may remain unanswered, he said.

"Investigators have learned that (Thacker) had a long history of personal

struggles," said Maplewood Police Cmdr. Mike Shortreed, who oversees the department's investigations unit.

"Unfortunately, we will not likely determine the reason (she) was walking in the area her body was located," Shortreed added.

-- Holly Wenzel

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