Mississippi County Body Found - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Charleston, MO

Mississippi County Body Found

Mississippi County Body Found
By: CJ Cassidy

CHARLESTON, MO -- Mississippi County, Missouri authorities identify the body of a woman found floating in the Mississippi River and she has Western Kentucky roots.

The Coast Guard initially reported finding the body Friday night, near the Thompson Bend area of the river close to the Cairo-Charleston bridge.

The coroner says the victim's dental records helped them identify the body as Cheri Pederson, a 60-year-old woman from St. Louis, who police say ended her life by jumping off a bridge.

Pederson has Heartland ties. Before moving to Saint Louis, she lived in Kuttawa, Kentucky and ran the Buzzard Rock Resort and Marina.

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It's been an exhausting few days for investigators trying to solve this case, now they're glad to have some answers.

Missing person cases are usually solved in about two hours, but this one took police more than two days to determine the body they found belonged to Pederson.

"A lot of times you have someone who jumps off a bridge, and anywhere from St. Louis on down, they could end up in Mississippi County or New Madrid County," Mississippi County Sheriff Keith Moore says.

But some suspicion about Pederson's death still lingers.

"There was some concern about how her automobile was found near the bridge and some other factors that just don't seem to be adding up," Mississippi County Coroner Terry Parker says.

For now though, the coroner's glad he has some answers and he's grateful to a Western Kentucky Heartland News viewer who saw our report Friday night and called Pederson's family in Saint Louis.

"We've come almost full circle," Parker says.

Pederson's body will be turned over to her family.

Meanwhile police are still waiting on autopsy results to figure out the exact cause of death.

Time was of the essence in this case, because smaller rural departments--like Mississippi County's, have little space and can only hold a body for a short amount of time.

If they hadn't found pederson's family, she would have been cremated or buried. Records are kept in case family members are found later.

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