HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE, Ark. – Searchers looking for a missing police dispatcher found a body Saturday in the wilderness several miles from her home, and while police wouldn't confirm it was the missing woman's body, they told her family of the find.
Debbie Shingler, whose 46-year-old sister Dawna Natzke was last seen leaving a Dec. 21 Christmas party with her boyfriend, told The Associated Press that police notified her family that searchers found a body in a wilderness area about five miles from her home in Hot Springs Village and about five miles from where her burned-out car was found.
"They told us yes, they found a body, but it's not confirmed to be Dawna, but we all know," Shingler said.
"They don't want to speculate anything until after the crime lab has done their investigation," Shingler said. "I am sure if it wasn't (Natzke's body), they would be calling us."
Hot Springs Village police dispatcher Bill Scarcella said searchers found the body near Jessieville. He declined to say whether investigators believe the body is that of Natzke, a fellow dispatcher at the gated community's police department.
Police have not named any suspects in Natzke's disappearance. They have said the boyfriend told investigators he and Natzke returned to her home after the party and that she was gone when he awoke the next morning. She wasn't reported missing until the following day after she failed to show up for work.
Shingler said she is the eldest and Natzke the youngest of four sisters, two of which she said were in Arkansas because of Dawna's disappearance and the third flew into the state Saturday.
"I had to tell her when her plane landed" that a body had been found, Shingle said.
Shingle said police did not talk about the condition of the body that was found, or the possible cause of death.