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Authorities find body of woman missing in forest

Missing Person Lisa Casler.jpg
Posted at 3:00 PM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 16:57:38-04

OCEANA COUNTY, Mich. — Authorities have found the body of a woman from Ottawa County who went missing in the Manistee National Forest.

Police found her body this afternoon, but how she died is still under investigation.

A search started in the Manistee National Forest yesterday evening and ended late this morning with the body of Lisa Ann Casel found.

Way back in the woods, Casel went bird watching on Saturday.

“Yesterday afternoon, we were contacted by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office," Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast said. "They explained they were investigating a missing person report.”

The call came in after Casel didn’t show up for work Monday at Community Mental Health of Ottawa County.

“And apparently she was a very trustworthy employee and very dedicated,” Mast said. “It was very out of character for her not to show up for work.”

Her cellphone last pinged near Pines Point. The search began Monday at around 4 p.m.

“We are led to believe she’s been out here since Saturday,” Mast said. “It’s now Tuesday morning.”

With Casel out in temperatures below freezing for multiple nights, deputies clung to hope they’d find her safe.

“We knew that her chances were pretty poor, because of the conditions,” Mast said.

Tuesday morning, Casel's body was found, just 1,500 feet from her car.

“We were hoping for a better outcome,” Mast said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get that.”

Deputies said this is an important reminder to carry a compass, let someone know where you’re going and consider taking someone with you.