UPDATE: Authorities believe Chetek woman died of hypothermia - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Authorities believe Chetek woman died of hypothermia


Barron County (WQOW) - We're learning more about the death of a Chetek woman, but there are still questions about what happened before her death.  Laurie Lindig's body was found in a wooded area outside of Chetek on Christmas.  Lindig was 43. 

Her family reported her missing after she failed to show up for a Christmas Eve gathering.  Then on Christmas day, someone spotted her purse a quarter of a mile from where her body was eventually discovered.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says, "It was unusual because they had had Christmas Eve plans to open presents and be together as a family."

Autopsy results show no sign of trauma to Laurie Lindig's body, but authorities believe her death was caused by hypothermia.

WQOW News 18 asked Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald if Lindig was dressed appropriately for the freezing weather.

"She had a jacket and gloves, but for the weather conditions to go for a long walk, I would say no," said Sheriff Fitzgerald.  

It is about 2.5 miles from where Lindig lived, to where her body was found. 

Sheriff Fitzgerald says,"The question we have and our detectives continue to work on at this time is why she was two miles out in the country, on a dead end road, out in the middle of a wooded area."

Toxicology results could take up to three weeks and will determine if anything was in her system when she died.

"Were there drugs or alcohol in her system, any pills things like that. There's been no evidence to show any of that right now, but right now our detectives are still collecting some evidence and looking through other records. Phone records, things like that," Sheriff Fitzgerald says. "It's different when you  have a car accident and you know the cause of something right away but when there is a lot of questions out there, it is even more difficult, because they want to know why this happened and how could this happen. The same questions we're asking."

WQOW News 18 asked if it was out of character for her to miss a family get-together.  The sheriff said the family told investigators this was all very unusual. Court records show Lindig was behind in rent and facing a possible eviction.  

UPDATE from the Barron County Sheriff's Department: 

The preliminary autopsy results are in and they show no trauma to Lindig's body. The likely cause of death is hypothermia. Authorities are still trying to determine why Lindig was out on the road and in the wooded area. Full autopsy and toxicology results will take about 3 weeks. At that time authorities will know if any alcohol, drugs or anything else was in her body.

Barron County (Press Release) - The woman has been identified as Laurie J. Lindig, 43, of Chetek. 

Her body was discovered in a wooded area near 866 22nd Street just west of Chetek. An autopsy is being conducted by the Midwest Medical Examiners Office to determine the cause of death.  

At this time the case remains under investigation until a cause of death can be determined.  

Anyone that may have seen a female walking on Highway D between Sunday, December 23, 2012 and December 25, 2012 west of Chetek should contact the Barron County Sheriff's Department at 715-537-3106.


Barron County (WQOW) - A woman's death is under investigation, after her body is found in a field near Chetek, just a day after she was reported missing.  The 43-year-old woman's name has not been released. The Barron County Sheriff's Department says there is no reason to believe anyone is in danger.

Chetek Police say the woman's family called police, after she didn't show up on Christmas Eve. Police interviewed her family and friends and searched her apartment, and a missing person's report was filed.

Then, on Christmas Day, someone found the woman's purse in a field just outside of Chetek, and brought it to the police department. Officers searched the field, and found her body in a wooded area nearby. The Barron County Sheriff's Department was brought in to help with the investigation. They are waiting on autopsy results to determine the cause of death.

The sheriff says her death is being considered suspicious because of the remote location where her body was found. However, he says there are no signs of obvious trauma to her body.


Barron County (Press Release) - On 12-24-12 about 10 p.m. the Chetek Police Department took a report of a missing 43-year-old female from the City of Chetek after she didn't show up for her family's Christmas.

After a search of her apartment and interviews with her family and friends she was entered as a missing person.  

On 12-25-12 at 1:54 p.m. a subject brought a purse into the Chetek Police Department that belonged to the missing person that was found outside of Chetek in a field. Officers from the Chetek Police Department responded to the location where the purse was found and located a body in a wooded area.  

Investigators from the Barron County Sheriff's Department were called in and it was determined that the body located in the woods was that of the missing person reported to the Chetek Police Department.  

At this time her death continues to be under investigation by the Barron County Sheriff's Department and the Barron County Medical Examiner to determine a cause of death.  

Per Chris Fitzgerald,Barron County Sheriff

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