HUDSON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Columbia County Sheriff has officially identified a body found in a wooded area in Kinderhook as belonging to missing 21-year-old Halle Schmidt.
Sheriff David Barlett didn’t reveal much during a press conference with reporters but said his investigators were working 24/7 to solve how and why Halle died.
Police were able to identify the body through clothing, marks on the body such as tattoos. Further forensic tests are being conducted.
“At this time, we’re not able to rule out foul play. We also can’t say there was foul play. Every death case is treated as a homicide until we can prove otherwise,” Investigator Kevin Skype said.
She had been missing for nearly one week.
It was an emotional night at 7th Street Park as family members and friends came together to show their love for Halle Schmidt on Sunday. All the more so since her body was found.
“She’s my little ‘Schmidtty’,” Erika Concra-Porreca, Halle’s aunt, said.
That’s how Erika Concra-Porreca says she’ll remember her niece, Halle Schmidt. A niece she says was like a daughter to her.
“We always used to sing and do karaoke and stuff, an amazing person,” Concra-Porreca said.
Unfortunately, she won’t get to sing with her Schmidtty anymore.
Concra-Porreca says investigators told her family, a body they found Saturday morning was that of Schmidt.
Family and friends came together to remember her life.
“She shouldn’t have been taken away from our family,” Concra-Porreca said.
Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett says they had been searching for Schmidt since she was reported missing on September 4.
Friday night they developed information about a possible body by Old Post Road and Route 9H in Kinderhook.
Investigators went out to search that area around 3 a.m. Saturday morning.
“We ended up locating a body off the road at that point in time, give or take 3, 4 o’clock,” Bartlett said.
As for Concra-Porreca, she’s thankful for the person who tipped the Sheriff’s office.
“My family appreciates that so much cause in some sense she’s kind of home now,” Concra-Porreca said.
But she says, it’s not closure. She believes her niece was killed.
“Somebody did something to my poor niece,” Concra-Porreca said.
At the moment though, she and her family are taking the time to mourn.
“Like if you have a kid and you lost her, how do you go on?” Concra-Porreca said.
Police say they have interviewed several people, but no one is in custody.