Who was Tamara Saukin? Body of woman believed to be missing NY doctor found in pond a month after she vanished
New York authorities said that they are 'fairly sure' that the woman they found in the pond is 44-year-old Tamara Saukin
STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK: The body of a Long Island doctor who went missing while on her daily walk with her mom last month was believed to have been discovered on Wednesday, December 2, in a large pond at Clove Lakes Park.
New York authorities said that they are "fairly sure" that the woman they found in the pond is 44-year-old Tamara Saukin, an Emerson Hill resident, who was last seen inside the park at about 6:35 am on November 18. The fact it’s a White female in the same area of the park where she last was seen and the clothing description made the authorities make the preliminary determination that the body belonged to the doctor. There were no immediate signs of foul play on the body, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation, although the exact cause of death is yet to be determined by the city's medical examiner.
The woman's scent was caught by an NYPD K-9 who led the search and rescue team to the pond. The discovery was made by NYPD divers. The discovery was made after the police had combed the park for days following the woman's disappearance, making use of drones, SCUBA units and hunting for possible video evidence for any clues regarding her whereabouts.
Investigators had been informed that Saukin was walking with her mother in the park shortly before she went missing. Saukin decided to walk another lap after her mother went back to her car following the stroll and that’s when she disappeared, the source said. "She disappeared without a trace," an anonymous NYPD source told the outlet.
Walking in the park with her family members was part of therapy as Saukin was known to suffer from alcoholism and has expressed suicidal thoughts in the past, according to police. Saukin held a family medicine practice in Grant City until October 9, when, “due to unforeseen circumstances,” she temporarily withdrew from the practice of medicine. On her Facebook page, Saukin said she had to withdraw from her practice because of “family issues.”
She also changed her employment status on Facebook to "self-employed." When questioned by a friend as to "what's going on?" Saukin replied, "Family issues. Thanks much for asking." She was a retired national competitive figure skater and former college track athlete, according to her website.
Her disappearance drew an outpouring of support online. “Tamara is an extremely kind woman and a respected physician who seems to forge a personal connection with everyone she meets/treats,” one person wrote on Facebook. "These are such hard times for many of us. Sometimes it's just easier to get away and find yourself again. I'm hoping that you're simply taking this time to gather strength for life's next journey," wrote another. Reach out anytime and I pray that you are safe. A third added: "Praying you are safe and we will see your beautiful face again soon."
Family members so far have declined to speak publicly on the incident, as a police investigation remains ongoing.