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Woman Found Deceased At Bass Lake Identified

OAKHURST — A woman found deceased at Bass Lake yesterday has been identified by the Madera County Sheriff’s Office.

Initial findings reveal no signs of foul play in the death of Viola Gillespie, 48, of Oakhurst, according to the Sheriff.

“The investigation into the circumstances leading up to her death will continue and an autopsy has been scheduled to determine the cause of death,” stated Sheriff Jay Varney.

Shortly before 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, deputies were dispatched to the area of Road 432 and Mallard Drive at Bass Lake. A passer-by had reported what he thought was a human body in a small stream of water flowing into the lake.

When deputies arrived, they confirmed that it was a body, partially submerged in the water. Detectives responded to the scene to investigate.

Ms. Gillespie was found near the edge of Bass Lake near boat docks in the Mallard Drive area. Information gathered by Sheriff’s detectives indicates that she would often go for walks in this area of the lake; however, detectives are still trying to determine all events leading up to her becoming immersed in the shallow stream.

Anyone with information relating to this incident is encouraged to call the Madera County Sheriff’s Office at 559-675-7770.

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