Autopsy pending on woman’s body found in Lake Tahoe |

Autopsy pending on woman’s body found in Lake Tahoe

Autopsy results were not available Monday regarding the cause of death of an unidentified woman’s body found last week in Lake Tahoe.

The autopsy was scheduled Saturday in Washoe County. Sgt. Tom Mezzetta of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, which is handling the case, stated the “determination of death is still pending.”

Authorities think the body is Khuteja Banoo Imam, a 65-year-old reported missing last month, although a DNA test will be needed to obtain the woman’s identity.

It could be two to four weeks for the result to be finished, Lt. Mike Biaggini said last week.

Dental record are also being researched, Mezzetta said.

The body was found by a kayaker and pulled from the shallow waters 6 feet away from a Glenbrook shoreline by members of the Tahoe-Douglas Fire Protection District in a rescue boat. The body was at the end of Land’s End Road.

South Lake Tahoe police Detective Mark Tappen said his investigation into Imam’s disappearance hinges on the results of the autopsy and identification tests.

“We’re hoping (the autopsy) will provide us information whether it’s a suicide or a homicide,” Tappen said.

Imam’s family members were notified of the body’s discovery, Tappen said.

Imam was last seen Jan. 12 driving from the Crystal Range Motel she co-owns in her green 1999 Honda CRV. The vehicle was abandoned a few days later unlocked with the keys on the driver’s floorboard at Beacon Bar and Grill at Camp Richardson. The distance from Camp Richardson to Glenbrook spans several miles.

“The odds are unusual for a body to go to one side of the lake to another but again the lake has a tendency of doing strange things,” Tappen said. He noted the passage of storms though the area during Imam’s disappearance.

The body was nude but clothes were found nearby, Biaggini said. It had signs of decomposition and being in the water for several weeks, prompting the need for DNA testing to determine the woman’s identity, Biaggini said.

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