Police identify body found in Coeymans

COEYMANS HOLLOW, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Remains found last week in rural Albany County have been positively identified as belonging to a missing 23 year old from Schenectady.

Police have identified the body as Shelby Countermine. She was 23-years old when she vanished and was found six months later on a lonely access road in Coeymans Hollow on Thursday.

“Any time you have a missing person you are always hoping for a positive conclusion,” Coeymans Police Chief P.J. McKenna said. “This was not.”

December 3 was the last time anyone remembers seeing Countermine walking on a rough stretch of Crane Street in Schenectady, known for prostitution and drugs.

shelby countermine missing

Police said her body was found buried in a shallow grave, and her body was likely dumped there shortly after she went missing. Distinctive tattoos and a partial fingerprint match were key to her identification.

“We used [tattoos] to match with missing persons,” McKenna said. “Subsequent to that, she was identified by fingerprint.”

Sources close to the case said the medical examiner found evidence of blunt force trauma. McKenna said it’s unclear if Countermine was alive or dead prior to being taken to Coeymans Hollow.

“We don’t know if she was transported alive or dead, and we don’t know when, but hopefully, in the next 72 hours, we will be able to get a better picture as to how she got there and when she was transported there,” he said.

Police said they have notified Countermine’s family members.

Furman Fabian of Mami’s Restaurant in Schenectady said he remembers Countermine as one of Crane Street’s residents. He recalled seeing her parents passing out flyers and asking for information on their missing daughter.

“They seemed very concerned at the time,” he said. “Absolutely.”

At the time, Fabian said it didn’t seem danger was on their mind.

“Because in their eyes, it was like a runaway situation; that she just didn’t want to go back home,” he said.

McKenna said upwards of 50 state police recruits did a grid search around the area Countermine’s body was found.

“If any other items, articles could be located,” he explained.

Investigators were back on the scene in Coeymans Hollow on Tuesday. The chief made his own plea to the public.

“There is no information to small or minute,” McKenna said. “I would ask them to contact the Coeymans police, and we will take any and all calls. It will be helpful no matter what.”

The chief said they are receiving tips and have very strong leads to go on.

“There’s a lot of pieces to the puzzle, which seem very, as you said, alarming,” he said. “I mean, we have someone buried in a shallow grave. That’s out of the ordinary.”

McKenna said his investigators are talking to those who were in Countermine’s life prior to her disappearance.

McKenna said her family knew she was in trouble, but they never expected something like this.

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