LITTLETON, New Hampshire (Reuters) - Divers pulled the body of a missing 11-year-old girl, Celina Cass, from the Connecticut River on Monday not far from her New Hampshire home, and her death was being investigated as suspicious, authorities said.
A dive team from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department found her body near a hydropower station in West Stewartstown, a New Hampshire town of about 1,000 residents near the Canadian border.
“Based on what we have seen visually we are treating it as suspicious,” said Jane Young, a New Hampshire senior assistant attorney general. “She was located in the water so we are trying to determine how her body was put in the water.”
Young declined to give details about the cause of death, citing the need for an autopsy.
Cass was last seen at home at about 9 p.m. local time on July 25. The 5-foot 5-inch tall Cass, who has long brown hair and hazel eyes, was wearing a pink shirt, pink pullover and blue shorts before she disappeared, authorities said.
Over the weekend, the Federal Bureau of Investigation offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the girl and the arrest of anyone responsible for her disappearance. In addition, a private citizen to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts. The FBI received about 500 tips in the case, Young said.
The underwater discovery of her body was “not the way we wanted to bring Celina home,” said Young.
Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Cynthia Johnston