PRESQUE ISLE (WAOW) – The Vilas County Sheriff’s Department is holding a a public forum tonight to talk about the death of a 61-year-old woman whose body was found outside a Presque Isle store late last week.
The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Presque Isle Town Hall Building.
Corrine Gerster died of natural causes and a dog she was trying to get home removed most of her clothing in dragging her after she died, Vilas County Sheriff Joe Fath said Tuesday.
Gerster was found Friday morning outside The Towne House store. She had left her home about 8 p.m. Thursday, Fath said.
The marks and injuries on her body were done after she died, apparently by a “pretty good sized” black Labrador she was familiar with, Fath said.
“It is believed that a dog that the victim was escorting home may have attempted to move, drag or wake the victim and in doing so tugged at clothing causing them to tear or rip away,” Fath said in a statement.
The dog eventually returned to its home and didn’t bring anything with it, the sheriff said.
“It is a little strange. It is about as strange as her laying outside and right beside the highway and nobody seeing her,” Fath said.
People told investigators that they heard a dog barking and howling but didn’t pay attention to it the night Gester died, the sheriff said.
The dog Gester was trying to get home routinely would come to her home, Fath said.
Investigators are awaiting more laboratory and toxicology results from an autopsy to determine exactly how Gester died but the cause of death is believed to have been “some kind of cardiac event,” the sheriff said.
“She had some medical issues,” he said.
The fiance of a woman found dead outside a Vilas County store is speaking out.
61-year old Corrine Gerster was found Friday morning outside The Towne House store in downtown Presque Isle.
Richard Jungck woke up and his fiancee wasn’t home.
“We found her laying on her back, and then by the time I found her it was obviously way too late,” said Jungck.
He says Gerster left their home Thursday night to return a neighbor’s dog. It was the last time he spoke to her.
The Vilas County Sheriffs Department says she was found naked outside the store, but has said little else. Jungck says his fiancee was wearing clothes when she left to return the dog.
“There were no marks on the body itself,” said Jungck. “It was just all the clothing was tattered and ripped and was off to the side of her.”
He says Gerster had heart problems, but the sheriff’s department says the cause of her death remains under investigation.
“We’re just hoping that she had a heart attack and went quickly,” said Jungck.
Jungck says people in the community were shocked to hear about the death of his fiancee, and he says he wants people to remember her as a caring person.
“She had such a soft heart,” said Junck. “Everyone in town that, you know, has contacted me, and everyone that’s called just said that she was just such a good-hearted person.”
The Department of Natural Resources assisted in this investigation to look at tracks near Gerster’s body. A spokesman says the tracks were not from wolves, but appeared to be from a dog or dogs.
We spoke with the Vilas County Sheriffs Department on the phone Monday. They say for now, there are no updates.