Body of missing hiker found, no sign of foul play.

October 20, 2020

Body of missing hiker found, no sign of foul play.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

Lisa Casler

GREENWOOD TOWNSHIP — The body of Lisa Ann Casler, 54, of Coopersville was found late Tuesday morning, Oct. 20, approximately 1,500 feet southwest of where her car was located in the Manistee National Forest in the Pines Point area near Hesperia, said Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast.

“There was no apparent injury and no sign of foul play,” said Mast. “It could have been a medical event or exposure or a combination of both.”

A Michigan State Police K9 picked up the missing hiker’s scent and led searchers to her body, the sheriff said.

Some of Casler’s family members were at the scene and confirmed it was her, he said. Her body will be transported to Big Rapids for an autopsy, and results are expected within a few days. Police photographed and documented the scene, he said.

A book and thermos were found near her body, he said. “It was in a large oak portion of the forest.”

Casler was last seen Friday, Oct. 16, in Coopersville, and authorities believe Casler had been in the woods since Saturday, Oct. 17.

She was an “avid bird watcher,” the sheriff said. Her vehicle, which is a small Chevrolet hatchback, was found in the center of Pines Point, said Mast. Her car contained bird watching supplies, such as cameras, binoculars and a spotting scope.

Police were “very concerned” due to the temperatures, especially the low nighttime temperatures.

Search crews, including K-9 trackers, Michigan State Police helicopter, Ferry Township and Hesperia fire departments, the Oceana County Sheriff’s Posse, Oceana sheriff’s deputies and Mason County Search and Rescue, began searching late Monday afternoon, Oct. 19.

Ottawa County authorities contacted the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office after an employee from Casler’s workplace contacted them, Mast said. Casler did not show up to work Monday for her job at Ottawa County Mental Health.

The Ottawa County Search and Rescue Team also assisted at the scene with a K9. “It was one of their own missing,” Mast said.

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