Groton City Police recover body, car from Thames River

A diver is helped out of the water as emergency responders from local departments search the Thames River in Groton on Friday, March 3, 2017, for a vehicle that reportedly drove into the water.  City police confirmed that a body was recovered inside the vehicle that entered the river behind the Puffins Restaurant on Thames Street. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
A diver is helped out of the water as emergency responders from local departments search the Thames River in Groton on Friday, March 3, 2017, for a vehicle that reportedly drove into the water. City police confirmed that a body was recovered inside the vehicle that entered the river behind the Puffins Restaurant on Thames Street. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

Groton City — City police confirmed that a woman was found inside a vehicle that entered the Thames River behind the Puffins Restaurant on Thames Street. The woman later was pronounced deceased at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital.

City of Groton Police received a report of a car in the water at around 2 p.m. and found the vehicle fully submerged in the Thames River. The car was found upside down about 20 yards off the riverbed in about 20 feet of water with the woman inside, police said in a news release issued Friday night.

Old Mystic's dive and rescue team was in the water searching for the vehicle shortly after 2 p.m., assisted on the water by the sub base police. Diver Tony Mancini of the Old Mystic Fire Department found the vehicle.

A woman at the scene said she received a text from her friend shortly before 2 p.m. saying her friend was going to drive into the river. Her husband and the woman's husband were also close friends, she said.

After a search, the divers located and retrieved the female occupant, and immediately transported her by ambulance to Lawrence + Memorial hospital, where she later was pronounced dead.

Police were withholding the woman's name as they notify her next of kin and said nothing in their investigation pointed toward criminal activity.

In addition to city police and fire officials, Groton Ambulance, a Lawrence + Memorial Hospital paramedic and the Old Mystic Fire Department also were at the scene. They were assisted by a boat from the Naval Submarine Base and the US Coast Guard.

Emergency responders from the Naval Submarine Base and local departments, including dive teams, search the Thames River behind Puffins Restaurant in Groton on Friday, March 3, 2017, for a vehicle that reportedly drove into the water. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
Emergency responders from the Naval Submarine Base and local departments, including dive teams, search the Thames River behind Puffins Restaurant in Groton on Friday, March 3, 2017, for a vehicle that reportedly drove into the water. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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