Body of Drowned Woman Found by Ridgefield Police

This article appears to be from sometime after June 2, 1931, the day the woman was reported missing.  This article also appears to be from a newspaper published outside Ridgefield.

1931 06 - Body of Drowned Woman Found - no date (aft Jun 1931)

Body of Drowned Woman Found by Ridgefield Police

Officers Gallagher And Kalbhenn Find Body After Long Search

RIDGEFIELD – At 1:40 a. m. on Monday morning, William Brede and Harry Arnold, both of Jersey City, reported to Sergeant Walter Gallagher of the Ridgefield Police that while one of them was swimming in the Overpeck Creek with a woman companion, the woman had suddenly disappeared and they feared she had drowned.  The men were held and Patrolman Heilmann was sent to the spot to search for the woman but returned saying that he could find no trace of her.

At 8:00 a. m. Sergeant Gallagher and Patrolman Arthur Kalbhenn reported finding the body of the woman, fully clad, in the creek.  They had made a long and thorough search within a wide area of the spot pointed out to them and their efforts were rewarded.  The woman was about 32 years of age, had auburn hair, with brown eyes and was about 5 feet four inches tall.

Kalbhenn stood guard over the body which they had laid in a boat and Sergeant Gallagher hastened back to the department and notified the Coroner and the Prosecutor’s office.  The body was then removed to Hunt’s morgue.

The two men were questioned and their statements follow:

William Brede: “At about 7:10 p. m. on Sunday evening I met Harry Arnold of Jersey City.  He had been drinking and asked me to go for a ride with him.  We met a girl known to us only as Carrie, at Grand street, Hoboken, and drove on toward Bergen County.  Arnold and the girl said they wanted to go swimming, and we drove to the Overpeck Creek as we wanted to be in the vicinity of the 125th Street Ferry.

I sat in the car while they went swimming and waited there one half hour.  I then got out to look for them but could not find them and returned to the car.  A short time later, Arnold returned with a strange man and stated that while he had been diving from a springboard, the girl had disappeared and he could not find her.  He was afraid she had drowned.  The stranger advised us to report to the police and gave us directions to the Police Department.”

Harry Arnold made the following statement: “I met Harry Brede [sic] at about 7:00 p. m.  I had been drinking all day and we went to Hoboken and met a girl we knew as Carrie.  While swimming, I dove from a springboard and when I returned to where I had left the girl she was not there.  I called her and looked for her and could not find her.  I told a man I saw at a stand, and he told me to report to the police, which we did.”

The young woman was later identified by her husband and Carrie Eickman of Union City, who stated that she had been reported missing since June 2, 1931.

As the woman was fully dressed when found and the circumstances were so unusual, the men were held for ten days for a thorough probe of the case.

This is not the first time Sergeant Gallagher and Officer Kalbhenn have received the commendation of their superiors for their excellent police work.  The search and finding of the body was due to their stubborn persistence and adds another leaf to the record of good standing of the Ridgefield police.


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