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updated: 2/15/2011 10:59 PM

Melting snow reveals woman's body

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The body of a 60-year-old Winthrop Harbor woman who had been reported missing nearly two months ago was found Tuesday morning in a wooded area near the village's train station, according to officials.

A diligent search had been under way for Jeanne Pike since her family reported her missing to police on Dec. 21, but it wasn't until warm weather this week made part of her snow-covered body visible, authorities said.

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A Union Pacific Railroad employee contacted police around 10 a.m. Tuesday after finding Pike partially covered with snow under a tree near the railroad tracks, said Winthrop Harbor Sgt. Leonard Cabrini.

Police said Pike did not have any known medical conditions, but there was no reason to believe foul play was involved.

"The family reported that she had just walked off," Cabrini said.

Pike was found in a wooded area east of the 1300 block of Third Street just off the railroad tracks, police said. It is believed she may have died as a result of exposure, said Lake County Coroner Richard Keller.

"(Detective Chris Willets) was working on it, I know, for a long time. They had been up and down the tracks," Cabrini said. "Detective Willets had dogs going up and down the tracks."

Police said Pike did not have a cell phone, so they were not able to ping the phone to locate her.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday, according to the coroner's office.

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