State troopers conducting a practice dive in Salina made a gruesome discovery last Tuesday Jan. 8.
The body of Karyn Leigh Arnold, who was reported missing in April 2002, was discovered by members of the New York State Police Dive Team. The body was in a 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage, the same vehicle Arnold had been driving at the time of her disappearance. Dental records later confirmed her identity.
"We're still investigating it, but at this point, all indications point to this being a suicide," said Sgt. John D'Eredita of the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department.
D'Eredita said the vehicle was found approximately 30 feet from the shore of the Seneca River, not far from the Wegmans Good Dog Park off Cold Springs Road in Salina. He said it appeared that the vehicle had been in that location since Arnold disappeared.
"Since she was first reported missing, there have been no sightings of her," D'Eredita said. "We have every reason to believe that she's been there all along."
Arnold, 29, was reported missing by a neighbor on April 18, 2002, after her then 5- and 7-year-old children woke up and discovered her gone. Her children, Shayla, now 11, and Christopher, now 13, have since been living with her mother, Kathie Arnold.
D'Eredita said that the sheriff's department has been developing information surrounding the young mother's disappearance in 2002.
"We've received information that she had approached friends and family members to watch the children," he said. "But that night, she left the children alone."
The investigation into Arnold's death is continuing.