Police release identity of woman found dead in Barton Meadow | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Police release identity of woman found dead in Barton Meadow

Jeff Munson

The name of the dead, dismembered woman found in Barton Meadow last Thursday has been identified as Sandra Denise Petersen, 55, of South Lake Tahoe, authorities confirmed this evening.

The woman lived in a permanent residence in South Lake Tahoe, was married and has family in Carson City. She was not homeless as some nearby neighbors who had seen a woman in the meadow often had originally suspected, said South Lake Tahoe Police Lt. Martin Hale.

“Everything was pointing to this particular person based on the description of the woman,” Hale said. “In our investigation all of our facts had pointed to Sandra Petersen.”

Police have talked to a number of people who live near Barton Meadow and had reportedly seen a blond woman, between 50 and 60, there often, and occassionally being seen with known homeless people.

It has not been determined whether Petersen had frequented the meadow in the past, police said. Also undetermined is whether Petersen lived with her husband, who was contacted this afternoon by police.

A foresenic autopsy of Petersen was completed today. A cause of death has not been determined, said El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Les Lovell. Results of a toxicology analysis are pending, he added.

Mrs. Petersen was identified through dental records, according to Hale.

There’s s no indication foul play was involved in her death but the case remains under investigation, Hale said.

“We haven’t ruled it out yet. We are proceeding with caution. There’s s no indication of foul play at this particular time,” he said.

The grisly remains of Petersen’s body were discovered Oct. 11 by a resident who was walking in the meadow. Police have said coyotes disturbed the body.

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