Foul play ruled out in river death

February 03, 1998


Staff Writer

WILLIAMSPORT - Investigators Tuesday ruled out foul play in the death of a woman who was found inside a submerged car in the Potomac River on Monday.

But while authorities believe Cindy L. Kegley's death resulted from a traffic accident early Saturday, they were still trying to piece together a clear picture of the events that led to her death. An initial autopsy was conducted, but no cause of death was determined, according to deputies.

"There were no signs of foul play," Sgt. Randy Wilkinson said. "We're ruling it accidental but we still want to know more."


Kegley, 39, was last seen in the Third Base Tavern in Williamsport late Friday, according to Wilkinson. Shorty after midnight, emergency services dispatchers received a call reporting an accident near Riverbottom Park.

"We want to talk with the woman who made a 911 call at 12:15 a.m. from a phone booth outside the New Hometown Laundry in Williamsport," Wilkinson said.

Kegley's husband, Larry, said he last saw his wife Friday afternoon, when she told him she was going out for a pack of cigarettes. He said she told him to leave the porch light on.

But Kegley never returned to their Falling Waters, W.Va., home. At first, he said he was not too concerned because she sometimes spent the night at her sister's house nearby.

His brother, Jeffe Kegley, said his sister-in-law sometimes went to Riverbottom Park with her two children. If she was in the area last weekend, he said the recent rains might have created a dangerous situation.

"The water was up. It's so easy to be pulled in and go straight in," he said.

Larry Kegley said his brother fixed him up with Cindy about 3 1/2 years ago. Jeffe married Cindy's sister.

During their first meeting, Cindy joined the two men in their favorite hobby - motorcycle riding. Kegley said his wife had never been on a motorcycle before.

"I guess it just hit me all at once - fell in love with her," he said.

Both recently had gone through divorces, and they were married about six months after they met.

Kegley said his wife was a good woman who loved walking her dog, a large white spitz. She also fell in love with motorcycles, hanging on behind him, he said.

When the couple sold the motorcycle about a year ago, Kegley said they took up camping. He said the two often headed to the mountainous areas near Cumberland, Md.

"She was a little scared at first, but then she got used to it," he said.

Jeffe Kegley said his sister-in-law was a quiet woman.

"She was a pretty easygoing person who kind of kept to herself," he said.

He said she grew up in Gaithersburg, Md., and graduated from Damascus High School. He said he remembered noticing a spark when his brother was introduced to her.

"They just kind of hit it off," he said.

Kegley said his brother called on Sunday asking to talk to his wife.

"That's when we knew something was wrong," he said, adding that they immediately began calling around to find her.

Cindy Kegley leaves behind her mother, a 15-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son. The children live with their father.

Officials found the car in 5 feet of water about 50 to 60 feet offshore on Monday after receiving several phone calls.

The woman who called 911 on Saturday told dispatchers she had just seen a car "driving very fast into the Potomac River."

Based on that call, fire and rescue personnel responded to Riverbottom Park minutes later, but found nothing.

Authorities are asking that the woman who made the call or anyone else with information about Kegley's activities before her death call Investigator Kenny Barnhart at 301-791-3300, ext. 121.

Staff Writer Marlo Barnhart contributed to this story.

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