Autopsy scheduled for today on body found in Mount Pleasant pond

Charleston County Rescue Squad divers continue to search a pond between Marsh Grove Avenue and Gate Post Drive in Mount Pleasant after a body was found there on Wednesday October 3, 2012. (Wade Spees/postandcourier.com)

MOUNT PLEASANT — An autopsy today will try to determine the cause of death of the woman whose body was found in a pond off Marsh Grove Avenue.

Police Capt. Stan Gragg said the body was that of a middle-age woman. There were no obvious signs of trauma, he said.

She has not yet been identified.

About 5 p.m. Wednesday, a witness called 911 to report seeing something that appeared to be a human body in the water, Police Lt. Jennifer Backman said.

When rescuers arrived, they saw a body, floating face down, wearing a white shirt.

The person who called 911 was uncertain if the object in the water was actually a human being, Backman said. “It is so close to Halloween that nobody could really be sure,” she said. Once rescuers got there, they realized it was indeed a person.

Divers retrieved the body about 6:45 p.m. Charleston County Deputy Coroner Scott Ramsey said it appeared the woman had been in the water for a while.

Onlookers watched divers go into the pond, which is near the Old Village Landing and Salt Grass Pointe neighborhoods off Center Street.

“There are kids that swim in this pond,” said Birney Boehland, a resident of the neighborhood. He said he was hoping the victim was not a neighbor’s child. Another resident, Bob Graham, said it is a tidal pond and the body might have washed in from the harbor.

A police officer carried away from the scene a large orange bag that appeared to contain evidence.

The case is being investigated by the Coroner’s Office as well as the Police Department. The Charleston County Rescue Squad, Charleston County EMS and the Rev. Rob Dewey of the Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy also responded to the scene.