Body of missing mom found in melting snowbank

The body of a missing woman was discovered in a melting pile of snow in Independence Township, six weeks after her disappearance. Now, her family wants to know if her death was a tragic accident or something more. 

They had been searching for 67-year-old Sharyn McDonnell since late January. 

"It was very odd and strange that she was just gone and no one knew where," says her daughter Melanie LaBrie. This grieving daughter said her mother was found on the edge of a body of water in a pile of snow.

"It was the hardest thing for me. It was good, in a way, because I didn't have to worry and I had closure," says LaBrie.

LaBrie says her mother suffered from dementia but it's not clear if her medical condition played a role in her disappearance or her death. LaBrie believes something else may have happened. 

She says her mother has a low tolerance for cold weather, so she can't understand how her body ended up in all this snow and ice. She believes someone has answers and she hopes they come forward. 

"If anybody knows anything, you need to come forward and be accountable and responsible," says LaBrie.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Office says foul play is not suspected at this time. It appears McDonnell wandered off and either fell or laid down in the snow, and more snow eventually covered her body. 

The medical examiner's report found no signs of foul play, but the cause of death is still pending. 

A visitation for McDonnell will be Saturday at Faith Church on Airport Road in Waterford. The family says they also plan to hold a candlelight vigil at dusk Sunday night at the location McDonnell was found. 

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories