MSP: Autopsy confirms woman died of drowning.

June 16, 2020


MSP: Autopsy confirms woman died of drowning.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

Michigan State Police from the Hart post have been investigating the “suspicious death” of Nicole “Nikki” Rae Kenworthy, 30, of Grand Haven for over six weeks.

A recent autopsy indicated that Kenworthy died from drowning “with contributing factors of drug use,” said Det./Sgt. Matt Nobliski Tuesday, June 16.

“At this point, we are still looking into some matters,” Nobliski said. “But, it does not appear to be foul play.”

Kenworthy’s body was found May 2 in the vicinity of 120th Avenue and Wilke Road in Otto Township east of Rothbury in Oceana County, according to MSP Sgt. Dan Thomas.

“It was clearly a drowning,” Nobliski said. “She was found in a swampy area in 2-3 feet of water. She was having a mental health episode and ran off.”

“She was visiting someone who was camping and walked away into the woods,” Thomas said. Kenworthy went missing in the time frame of April 30/May 1, he said.

She was visiting a male friend at the campsite, and he was the only person at the site, Thomas said.

Detectives have interviewed several people, said Thomas, and the case remains under investigation.

“There were narcotics in her system according to the toxicology report,” Nobliski said.

It was dark when Kenworthy went missing, the detective said, and the remote area where her body was found is “very thick.”

After police searched for her all night with K-9s and a drone, an MSP helicopter located her body “fairly quickly” the following morning, Nobliski said.

Police said Kenworthy was from the Muskegon area, but her obituary states that she was from Grand Haven.

News media were not notified by law enforcement of the suspicious death, and OCP followed up on a reader’s tip. Nobliski said MSP was waiting to release information to the media pending the autopsy results “out of respect for the family.”

“We investigate everything as suspicious initially,” the detective said.

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