Woman swept away by river

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A 74-year-old De Soto woman wandered away from her home and was swept away by the rising Mississippi River. Her body was found a short time later.

Mary Heath’s home is in a flooded area along the river. Heath was reported missing at about 6:55 a.m. Saturday from her residence on a road near Blackhawk Park which had been closed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently.

The Vernon County Sheriff’s Department said it was reported that an elderly woman may have wandered away from her residence during the night.

Law enforcement could only get to the residence by boat, so the Wheatland and De Soto fire departments launched their boats from a boat landing to get to the residence.

A boater had located Heath’s body about 300 yards down river from her residence. The body was recovered at approximately 7:25 a.m.

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