|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - February 2009
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Missing woman’s body recovered after search
Trinity Standard - February 2009
GROVETON – The body of a 66-year-old Groveton woman was recovered from a pond on her property following an extensive, multi-agency search last week.
Mary Polly Larsen apparently died when she accidentally drove her pickup into the pond during the early morning fog.
According to Trinity County Sheriff Ralph Montemayor, Mrs. Larson was reported missing on Wednesday, March 19, by her husband, Norman Larsen, after she failed to arrive for work at the Groveton Nursing Home.
Montemayor said he immediately suspected something was wrong and established a multi-agency search force consisting of the Trinity County District Attorney’s Investigator, Trinity County Pct. 4 Constable’s Office, Trinity County Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace, all of the Trinity county volunteer fire departments, Texas Parks and Wildlife officers, the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol and Air Division, Law Enforcement Division of the U.S. Forest Service, Groveton Police Department, Houston County Sheriff’s Department and numerous other volunteers.
Information about her missing truck and Mrs. Larsen were entered into the Texas missing person’s computer system and sent out statewide.
Montemayor said that every possible route was searched from the Larsen residence to the Groveton Nursing Home.
During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Mrs. Larsen may have gone to a location off of U.S. Forest Service Road 502 where the Larsens own land. Mrs. Larsen had lost her dog there the previous day.
Montemayor said the private property and all of the surrounding area was searched on the ground and by air but the air search failed to locate the missing truck or Mrs. Larsen.
Montemayor then spoke with Travis Haygood from the Trinity County District Attorney’s Office who agreed to search the approximately 100 acres of private property owned by the couple. Haywood was familiar with the property as he had been deer hunting on the property in the past.
While searching the property, Haygood noticed that one of the several ponds on the property appeared to have tire tracks leading to the edge of the water. It could not be determined if the tire tracks left the pond area.
Haygood notified the sheriff’s department and local fire departments. Shortly thereafter at about 8 p.m. Wednesday, the truck Mrs. Larsen was driving was recovered from the pond. Mrs. Larsen was found still inside the truck.
Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Sam Blair and Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Randy Barrett both responded to the scene. Barrett pronounced Mrs. Larsen dead at the scene.
Montemayor said that at this time it appears that Mrs. Larsen was driving around the property early that morning before daylight looking for her lost dog. On this particular morning the Groveton and surrounding areas experienced very heavy fog making visibility extremely difficult.
Montemayor said it appeared that Mrs. Larsen accidentally drove into the pond and drowned when she could not get out of the sinking vehicle that was totally submerged under the water.
Montemayor expresses his condolences to the family and friends of Mrs. Larsen for their loss. He also wants to extend his thanks to all of the law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and other agencies and volunteers who assisted in the search and recovery of Mrs. Larsen. The sheriff also commended Haygood for his assistance and diligence in the search.