Missing Hiker, Dog Found Dead

Cops think 47-year-old New Yorker and her animal fell off a cliff.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Coleen Murphy and her dog found dead in Rockland Lake State Park in Congers (Published Thursday, Feb 17, 2011)

    Police discovered footprints at the top of a cliff, about 300 feet above the place where a 47-year-old hiker's body was discovered.

    Investigators said late Tuesday it appeared Colleen Murphy fell 300 feet from a cliff. Her body and that of her dog Jemma were found around 7:40.

    The body was found in the wooded area of Rockland Lake, said Det. Sgt. Timothy O'Neill of the Clarkstown Police Department.

    Murphy's car was found Tuesday morning at Rockland Lake State Park in Congers. Cops believe she went snowshoeing on Sunday and fell from the snow-covered cliff.

    Police said a parent had asked police on Tuesday morning to check on Murphy who lives alone in Valley Cottage. No one was home.

    Police then learned that the woman had sent a text message to a friend on Sunday saying she was going hiking, possibly at Rockland Lake.

    "Unfortunately we may never know exactly what happened ... whether she tried to rescue her dog and she was on the side of the cliff," said Murphy.

    Although authorities believe Murphy's death to be accidental, they say an autopsy will be conducted. Police want to talk to anyone who saw her at the park on Sunday.