NC woman found dead in pond behind her home, police say

SOUTHPORT, N.C. (WECT) – A woman was found dead in a retention pond in Southport Saturday morning.

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According to the Southport Police Department, the body was found in a retention pond by the GoGas gas station near Robert Ruark Drive.

The woman has been identified as Karen Matchunis, 54.

Police say Matchunis went missing on Friday.

Neighbors who live on the street that backs up to the retention pond say police went door to door searching for the missing woman Saturday.

One neighbor, Jan Evans, says Matchunis lived in a house that backed up to the retention pond. The home is located in the Southport Way neighborhood.

Matchunis’ boyfriend of 10 months, Paul Henkens says they had just moved from Raleigh to their new home in Southport three weeks ago.

Henkens said he fell asleep Friday night around 9 p.m., the same time the Matchunis went out for a walk.

He said she typically goes out for a walk every night.

Saturday morning around 10 a.m. when Henkens woke up, he noticed his girlfriend had not returned home. That is when he called the police to report her missing.

When police came out to look for Matchunis, they found her body in the retention pond behind the home. The pond is about six to eight feet deep.

Southport Police Chief Gary Smith says they do not expect foul play, so no charges have been filed at this time.

Autopsy and toxicology reports are being conducted today to determine the cause of death.

Smith says the case is an “open investigation until autopsy results are back.”

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