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No answers yet about body found in river

Published: Saturday, May 3, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT
Melva M. Meridith

DIXON – Sheriff’s deputies are still looking into why a woman’s car ended up in the Rock River this week, and why her body was later found downriver.

Lee County Sheriff John Varga said he had hoped to have the investigation wrapped up on Friday, but his office was still tying up loose ends.

Varga said some interviews that his investigators had planned to do Friday were postponed for various reasons.

“We are still working on it,” Varga said. “We’re trying to make sure we get everybody talked to that needs to be talked to.”

On Tuesday, a woman’s body was pulled from the river after calls reported a missing person and, later, the discovery of a submerged car near a boat launch at Rock River Estates, a mobile home park along state Route 2 between Dixon and Sterling.

The woman, identified as Melva M. Meridith, 56, of Dixon, was last seen driving away from her home in Rock River Estates about 9 a.m. Tuesday in her 2002 Pontiac Grand Am, according to a news release from the Lee County Sheriff’s Department.

The call reporting her missing was placed just before 5:30 p.m.

At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, deputies received a report of a car in the river near the boat launch. Upon arriving, deputies were able to confirm no one was inside the car. They continued to search the river for its driver, which is when they found Meridith’s body.

According to her obituary published in Friday’s editions, Meridith was a rehabilitation technician at Kreider Services in Dixon for 18 years before she retired.

She also attended church at St. Anne Catholic Church in Dixon and was a volunteer at the Leydig Center.

Visitation will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Preston-Schilling Funeral Home in Dixon.

The funeral Mass will begin at 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. Anne Catholic Church in Dixon.

Visit for the full obituary.

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