Mrs. Nettie Day, a 71-year-old woman who became lost in the almost impenetrable swamp here yesterday while picking cranberries, was found dead less than a half-mile from her home and but 200 yards off Neponset St. this morning. Death was due to exposure in the opinion of Medical Examiner Otto Schofield.
Three planes covered the five-mile swamp all morning as searchers on the ground combed the area. Pilot Henry Kent, flying without an observer, sighted the woman’s body shortly after 10 o’clock. He was unable to direct searchers to the spot from the air and returned to the airport where he drew a map of the location. Pilot Joseph Garside, who had flown over the area several times in the search, gave the map to police and they found the body.
Patrolmen Charles Donnell and Francis Riley, with Garside, found the woman and called for the medical examiner. Mrs. Day’s dress was torn and there were some scratches on her body indicating that she had tried to get through the thick underbrush. It is believed that she became exhausted and gave up.
With Son and Sister
Mrs. Day went to the swamp yesterday afternoon with her son, Curtis F. Day. 39, and her sister. Miss Emily C. Fisher, 76-year-old retired school teacher of Norwood. Miss Fisher is the woman who took a 7000-mile taxi ride earlier this year to see Mexico.
The trio went into the swamp to pick cranberries and Mrs. Day became separated from her son and sister. When darkness set in Curtis Day and Miss Fisher notified Norwood police and two officers, Sergt Nicholas Curran and patrolman Thomas McNulty, went to the swamp with searchlights in an effort to find the woman.
When their search proved fruitless aid was sought at the airport today and three planes took off. Richard Babcock flew for more than an hour, as did John Rizzo, manager of the airport. Joseph Garside with field glasses acted as observer on the flights, but they could see no sign of the woman.
She was wearing a red sweater and it was believed that they would be able to sight it.
Sergt Thomas Lyndon took charge of the ground search and officers with some 25 volunteers attempted to comb the swamp along Neponset st. The swamp, which measures five square miles, is bounded by Norwood, Canton and Westwood. In mid-morning pilot Kent took off and found the woman.
Clasped Paper Bag
When patrolman Riley happened upon the body of Mrs. Day, she was lying on her left side and clasped a paper bag containing almost three quarts of berries in her hands. Searchers got the impression that she must have laid down from utter exhaustion after traveling in circles for miles during the chilly night. If she had only persevered about 200 yards in a straight line, she would have made Neponset st.
Among those who reached the scene soon after the discovery were her son, Curtis, and Miss Fisher. Both were overcome with grief.
Some of the searchers had scoffed at the efforts of aviators flying over the swamp, but authorities expressed appreciation this afternoon for the services of the pilot.
It was pointed out that the searchers were neglecting the point where the body was found and the discovery might have been delayed for days if the aviator had not sighted the spot from the air.
Kent and the other flyers related their difficulties in maintaining a banked position with their small planes so that the ground could be observed during flight and also told how the Autumn coloring of the foliage hampered their efforts.