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Body found may be missing elderly woman

July 30, 2009 7:21:09 AM PDT
A body was discovered in thick brush near a park in Orange County, and now investigators are trying to determine if it's a woman reported missing nearly two weeks ago.The body of an elderly woman was discovered in a ravine on Wednesday night near a bike path by a woman who smelled a foul odor while walking her dog at Woodfield Park in Aliso Viejo at about 7:30 p.m.

The body has been identified only as an elderly woman.

"The ravine is about 10 to 12 feet down, so there's a possibility that she may have fallen," said Jim Amormino from the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities said because of the decomposition of the body, they will have to rely on dental charts to positively identify the woman. Authorities say results won't be released until Friday at the earliest.

"We're going to have to wait for the autopsy to try to determine a cause of death. We're not sure if we have a homicide, if we have a natural death. At this stage it's just too early to tell," Amormino said.

Authorities want to know whether the remains are that of 76-year-old Margot Walters, who was last seen July 17 after an argument with her husband.

The body was found about a mile-and-a-half from their home.

Walters' husband has said that he did not harm her. He said they had a minor verbal argument, and noticed that she left the house sometime before 3 a.m. She left behind her purse, her ID, her keys and was wearing only pajamas and slippers.

She had reported to the Orange County Sheriff's Department that someone had fraudulently run up her credit card by more than $70,000 in January, but it's not clear if that is related to her disappearance.

Authorities conducted an extensive search for Walters. Her husband and son spoke with police at Woodfield Park Wednesday night.

"The missing person's husband and son were out here early this morning. They left, I'm told they're in seclusion in their residence," said Amormino.

Anyone with information on Walters is urged to call the Orange County Sheriff's Department at (714) 628-7170.

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