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STORM DRAIN DEATH: Crews find woman's body, near Fort Myers Country Club

Police say she intentionally climbed into the drain
Woman found dead in Fort Myers storm drain
Posted at 7:40 AM, May 22, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla — Fort Myers Police say they found a woman dead in a storm drain near the Fort Myers Country Club on Wednesday morning.

Jim Fraser tells FOX 4 he was getting ready to play golf when he spoke to a woman, he believes to be the victim, walking by the Fort Myers Country Club golf course.

He says it took police about 90 seconds to respond to the Hill Avenue scene.

Police say first responders found the woman walking naked on the golf course, near Hill Avenue. They say she seemed to be in a mental health crisis and was communicating with them, but was not combative. They tell us their search and rescue efforts started when the victim opened the storm drain lid and climbed inside.

Woman's body found in storm drain at Fort Myers Country Club
Woman's body found in storm drain at Fort Myers Country Club

Multiple agencies, including the Fort Myers Fire Department and the Fort Myers Police Department, tried to help the woman.

However, investigators confirm she intentionally avoided them and went into the drain.

Woman's body found in storm drain
Investigators looking into the death of a woman, who's body was found in a storm drain Wednesday morning

"We do believe, most likely, this was a mental health crisis," Kristen Capuzzi, Fort Myers Police Department, Public Information Officer said.

Richard Thompson is the Storm Water Resource Manager for the City of Fort Myers.

"The water in the pipe will be the same level as water in the canal," Thompson said.

Crews started to pump water out of the drain in an attempt reach her.

John Wisdom is the Iona McGregor Division Chief.

"It was a significant amount of water that needed to be removed from the pipe because we will not send rescuers into that pipe unless they have safe space to operate on," he said.

By the time crews got to her, they tell FOX 4 the woman was dead. At this point, investigators are not saying how she died.

"She was probably closer to 40, maybe 45 (years old). It was kind of dark so I didn't get a good look," Fraser said.

The entire process took about 3 hours.

"Rescuers continued to work until we removed the victim with a rope system at 9:09AM," Wisdom said.

This is a developing story.