Woman Found Frozen In Ditch Is Missing Palos Park Woman

An autopsy found Paula Spika, 51, drowned.

PALOS PARK, Ill. (STMW) – A woman found frozen in a ditch near Palos Park late Sunday is the same woman reported missing after a family gathering Saturday in the southwest suburb.

She was found dead near 86th Avenue and 127th Street, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said.

She was identified Tuesday as 51-year-old Paula Spika, according to Cook County Sheriff’s police spokeswoman Liane Jackson.

Spika was last seen about 11 p.m. Saturday near 123rd Street and 86th Avenue, just a few blocks from where the body was found about 10:40 p.m. Sunday.

An autopsy Tuesday found she drowned, but the manner of death (accident, homicide or suicide) was undetermined, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Spika was found lying face up in a 4-foot ditch, partially frozen in ice, including her head, sources said. She was fully clothed and no signs of trauma were found on her body.

Palos Park Police Chief Joel Miller said a missing person alert was issued about 9:30 p.m. Sunday after Spika was seen Saturday night getting into a vehicle after leaving a family gathering.

She was in the vehicle, but at some point got out of the vehicle and wanted to walk, Miller said. It was unclear what happened after she got out of the car.

Police continue Tuesday to investigate, but Jackson said, “We don’t believe she was the victim of foul play.” Sheriff’s police are “not looking for anyone who may have harmed her.”

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Wendy

    Soo Sad! My heart goes out to her family and children!
    Trajedy so close to the Holidays :(

  • neil

    Why the generic stock photo, Sun-Times? That’s so appallingly lazy.

  • J


  • Judy

    Paula we loved you, we will miss you forever. My kids hearts are broken the kindness you have showed my family was unbelievable. Thanks for the great times. Judy

  • mary j tulloch

    The death of Paula was a real tragety. She was a truly good person. My sympathies go to her whole family. I would like to respond to the two previous comments. In America everyone is innocent until proof of guilt is established. The rush to judgement is to say the least premature. I also think it interesting that neither of the previous commenters signed his or her full name. Mary J Tulloch

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