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Body of missing 81-year-old Healdsburg woman found in rural Mendocino County

PIX Now morning edition 12-6-23
PIX Now morning edition 12-6-23 11:58

MENDOCINO COUNTY – Authorities in Mendocino County announced Wednesday that the body of a missing elderly Sonoma County woman has been found.

According to the sheriff's office, 81-year-old Michele Paul of Healdsburg was reported missing and at risk on November 27. The California Highway Patrol, which issued a Silver Alert, said Paul was last seen on the afternoon of November 14 in Geyserville. 

Meanwhile, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said a community member spotted Paul driving her Volkswagen Jetta on Highway 116 in Monte Rio on November 25.

Michele Paul of Healdsburg, whose body was found near Boonville in Mendocino County on December 4, 2023. The 81-year-old was last seen on November 14, 2023. California Highway Patrol

Around noon on Monday, Mendocino County deputies received a call about a suspicious vehicle on the 29000 block of Mountain View Road near the community of Boonville. The caller reported that the vehicle was located several miles down a dirt road on a large rural property.

When deputies arrived, the caller escorted them to the car, which was found unoccupied. Deputies confirmed the vehicle belonged to Paul.

Soon after, deputies searched the area, which was described as "heavily wooded and rugged terrain." The county's Search and Rescue team were also summoned to the location.

During the search, Paul was found deceased. An investigation found no obvious signs of foul play.

Deputies said Wednesday that the case has been turned over to the Sheriff's Office coroner division for further investigations connected to medical records collection and a potential autopsy.

"It is with a heavy heart that we report that Michele Paul was located by the Mendocino Sheriff on Monday, December 4th," The Sonoma County County sheriff's office said on social media. "We received a confirmation from the Mendocino County Coroner's Office today that the remains were hers and that her next of kin had been notified. We wanted to thank you all for being vigilant and for spreading the word about Michele."

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