Authorities: It may take 6-8 weeks to find woman’s cause of death

Posted April 28, 2011, at 11:53 a.m.
Last modified April 28, 2011, at 8:09 p.m.
This undated picture made available by Conway, N.H. Police shows 20-year-old Krista Dittmeyer.
Conway Police
This undated picture made available by Conway, N.H. Police shows 20-year-old Krista Dittmeyer.

CONCORD, N.H. — Authorities said Thursday it could take six to eight weeks before they receive toxicology report results to help determine the cause of death of a Maine woman found in a pond at a New Hampshire ski area.

An autopsy failed to conclusively establish the cause of death of Krista Dittmeyer, 20, of Portland, Maine, officials said.

“The case remains active and ongoing,” said Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young at a brief news conference.

Dittmeyer’s body was recovered Wednesday from a pond several hundred yards from the spot where her car was left idling with her 14-month-old daughter asleep inside at the Cranmore Mountain ski area in Conway, a town of 10,000 people.

Young said Dittmeyer’s death has not been declared a homicide.

“We are continuing to investigate it as a suspicious criminal case,” she said.

Young declined to comment on the possible relevance of a Conway police log entry indicating two men who said they were friends of Dittmeyer’s discovered a flip-flop she might have been wearing while searching on their own.

The police log entry was made minutes before midnight Tuesday. One of the men had the same last name as the father of Dittmeyer’s daughter; the father is serving 18 months in prison in Maine for drug charges.

The woman’s relatives released a statement saying they were devastated by her death, and friends and family planned to gather for a candlelight memorial Thursday night in her hometown, Bridgton, Maine, 25 miles from Conway.

Dittmeyer’s mother, LaNell Shackley, is caring for the toddler at her Bridgton home. Shackley said she last spoke with her daughter the night of April 22 and was supposed to see her on Easter. The daughter’s car was discovered early Saturday.

Dittmeyer was working as a waitress at a South Portland restaurant at the time of her disappearance. She was living in an apartment in Portland.

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