Family Confirms It Was Missing Canadian Woman’s Body Found Friday (UPDATE)
BODY RECOVERED: Linnea Veinotte
ST. GEORGE’S – The family of missing Canadian university professor Linnea Veinotte has confirmed that the body found on Friday was hers, after Grenadian police said they were awaiting the results of an autopsy for official confirmation.
“We are of course devastated at the loss of our beautiful Linnea, mother, wife, daughter, sister, and a friend to so many. We would like to thank the many hundreds of people who helped in the search and the many, many thousands in Grenada and around the world who have offered their support, kindness and prayers,” the family said in a press statement.
The partially decomposed body of the 36-year-old mother of two, who worked at St. George’s University, was found five days after she and family dog Nico went for a Sunday morning run. The dog was hit by a car and left injured on the side of the road. Veinotte was not on the scene but police said evidence did not indicate she had also been hit.
Assistant Supt. Sylvan McIntyre of the Royal Grenada Police Force said late Friday that police were still awaiting autopsy results to be sure the remains found were those of Linnea Veinotte.
“There is no positive and expert identification at the moment,” said McIntyre. “Based on physical evidence in the area where the body was found we believe it could be her.”
Meanwhile, a Facebook page dedicated to the search for the missing woman was renamed “In Memory of Linnea Veinotte.”
A post on the page Saturday from a Matt Veinotte, who identified himself as Veinotte’s husband, said he is feeling hurt and lost.
“Linnea has had such an amazing impact on the lives of so many people. She touched people in everything she did. Her love for the world was contagious. She truly made this world a better place. And without her in it, it won’t be the same,” Veinotte said in the post, adding that she leaves behind two sons.
Matt Veinotte thanked a number of people for their efforts in the search for his wife, including the Royal Grenada Police Force.
St. George’s University also released a statement via Twitter saying her body had been found.
McIntyre added that a person of interest in the case was still in custody, although no formal charges had been laid.
Police were questioning a 26-year-old man who had turned himself in after being wanted in connection with the disappearance of Veinotte.
McIntyre said Akim Frank walked into the police station early Friday.
“He’s assisting us with the investigation at this point,” said McIntyre.
In an earlier release, police said Frank could be armed and was considered extremely dangerous.
Veinotte’s father, Rev. Doug Moore, said earlier that his daughter was in Grenada for a year two years ago and then returned to Canada, where she worked as a professor at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. She went back to Grenada after getting a job offer at St. George’s University.
“She was a learning specialist. She helped people who were having a hard time to study and get through university,” Moore said.
“She liked it there.”
On Thursday, police recovered a dark grey SUV about six to 10 miles from where Veinotte was last seen.
Police have said a witness saw Veinotte, a mother of two young boys, early Sunday morning with her dog Nico in the neighborhood of L’Anse aux Epines.
Police have said witnesses reported hearing a loud bang and seeing a vehicle drive away quickly from the area.
They say officers found blood at the scene near where her dog was discovered lying on the side of the road after being struck by a car.
McIntyre said they did not have information to suggest Veinotte was hit by the car as well.
They also said a black bandana, sunglasses and broken glass were found at the site.
The Facebook page says Veinotte was born in New Denmark, New Brunswick and has a home in Nova Scotia.