Authorities identify body found in lake | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Authorities identify body found in lake

William Ferchland

Published Caption: Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Khuteja Banoo Imam is asked to call Detective Mark Tappen at (530) 542-6134.

Authorities have identified the woman whose body was discovered February on Glenbrook shores of Lake Tahoe as a person reported missing more than 15 miles away, authorities said.

Douglas County sheriff’s Lt. Mike Biaggini said DNA was used to identify Khuteja Banoo Imam, a 65-year-old reported missing in January after she left the Crystal Range Motel she co-owned in her green 1999 Honda CRV.

Biaggini said an autopsy was inconclusive regarding cause of death. He couldn’t recall if the autopsy proved Imam was dead before being in the water, but said there were no unusual marks, such as cuts or bruises, on her body.

A toxicology report is due in a few months. The test will determine any chemicals and their abundance in Imam’s system.

Authorities were perplexed at a kayaker’s discovery of a body feet away from a Glenbrook shoreline in the afternoon of Feb. 3. Bodies typical drop to the depths of Lake Tahoe because of the lack of decomposition, which creates buoyant gases. The body was decomposed to the point that DNA was needed to obtain the woman’s identity.

In other news:

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— Two damaged hotel rooms and stolen Tommy Bahama merchandise landed a 35-year-old man in jail after a Horizon Casino and Resort housekeeper reportedly found drug paraphernalia, authorities said.

Jose Tufino was booked into Douglas County Jail on Monday at $78,500 bail. Sheriff’s deputies were led to Tufino after a housekeeper discovered a burnt spoon and several burn marks on the carpet and furniture of one of the resort’s rooms, a deputy reported.

Tufino, who asked for a different room by the time he was interviewed by authorities, was first encountered in his room wearing only a sheet, authorities said. He was questioned in another room, which was also dotted with burn marks, drug paraphernalia and a bag of marijuana, the deputy stated.

Tufino admitted to some of the burn marks, saying “that’s what I do when I get high,” the deputy reported.

Merchandise Tufino said he stole from two stores at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe totaled $1,140 and was intended to get money for drugs, the deputy reported. The merchandise included Tommy Bahama baseball cap, two pink fashion watches, a pair of men’s pants, a pair of silk pants, six shirts and a women’s outfit.

Also found in the hotel room was the mirrored sliding door of the closet up against the bed, pornographic material and women’s lingerie.

Damage to the first room was estimated at $790. Tufino was booked into jail on suspicion of possession of stolen property, possession of drug paraphernalia, destruction of property, burglary and possession of marijuana.