Richmond police identify woman found down rocky embankment
Richmond police on Monday released the name of a woman who was found injured at the bottom of a rocky embankment and later died at a hospital.
Police said 20-year-old Haley Ferrante was reported missing Friday night. She was last seen walking away from her home around 10:15 p.m.
Her mother called authorities about an hour later.
"Just a very unfortunate tragedy," Chief Elwood Johnson of the Richmond Police Department told NBC 10 News. When this first came in, it was concern for her well-being because of the extreme cold and she was out there, not really dressed appropriately for it. And they were unable to locate her on their own."
Police said at about 1:10 a.m. Saturday, officers found Ferrante at the bottom of a steep, snow-covered embankment along a brook that runs under Carolina Nooseneck Road. She was about 35 yards from the roadside.
"It appears as though she may have gone into the river for a brief time," Johnson said. "She was found on the bank near the river."
Police said Ferrante was wet and breathing, but unconscious. She was transported to South County Hospital for her injuries and then Rhode Island Hospital, where she was pronounced dead Saturday morning.
Police said Ferrante was exposed to extreme cold for about three hours, but the cause of her death has not yet been determined. They said no foul play is suspected.
"I can't speculate as to why she left her home, went outside and continued to walk," Johnson said. "I can just tell you that were circumstances, I wouldn't disclose at this point because I don't want to interfere or taint the investigation."
Ferrante's family did not want to speak on camera, but told NBC 10 she was a loving and caring person. They also said they don't know the details of what happened.
An autopsy is pending, according to authorities.