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Coroner: 80-year-old Kokomo woman found dead in ditch with dog likely drowned

Betty Stroup and her dog were both found dead in a ditch alongside the road in the area of 1700 North Reed Road.

HOWARD COUNTY, Ind. — A statewide Silver Alert for an 80-year-old woman missing from Kokomo was canceled Sunday night after she and her dog were found dead.

The Howard County Sheriff's Office had been investigating the disappearance of Betty Stroup, who was discovered missing from her home in the area of 2300 North 100 East before 4 a.m. on Thursday, May 26.

Around 11 p.m. on Sunday, May 29, the Silver Alert for Stroup was canceled. 

On Monday, the Howard County Sheriff's Office said Stroup and her dog were both found dead in a ditch alongside the road in the area of 1700 North Reed Road, which is less than a mile from where she lived.

One neighbor said her boyfriend was out mowing the lawn Sunday evening when they spotted a woman's body lying in the ditch. They called 911 around 9 p.m. Sunday. 

Neighbors who live nearby said they are heartbroken after keeping an eye out for Stroup over the past few days, hopeful investigators can find out what happened that led to the death of both her and her dog. 

Some neighbors said the manner in which Stroup's body was discovered was odd. They said they aren't sure how she would have gotten into the place and position in which she was found.

The Howard County coroner said initial findings from an autopsy Tuesday were consistent with drowning. The coroner also said the findings do not suggest foul play. Toxicology reports are still pending.

The sheriff's office released a statement, reading in part:

The Howard County Sheriff’s Office extends our deepest condolences to the family and would like to thank the members of the community for their efforts in trying to locate Betty.

This is an active investigation and anyone with information should contact Detective Rod Shaffer at 765-614-3475.

Amber Alert vs. Silver Alert: What's the difference?            

There are specific standards a person's disappearance must meet in order for police to declare an Amber Alert or a Silver Alert.                                        

Amber Alerts are for children under the age of 18 who are believed to have been abducted and in danger. Police also need to have information about a suspect and their car to issue an Amber Alert.                                       

Silver Alerts are for missing and endangered adults or children. They are much more common for missing people. It was not until last year when the standards for Silver Alerts were expanded to include children.      

In both situations, these alerts must be issued by police.

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