Friends fear body found is that of missing Chester woman

Kelly Catalano
Kelly Catalano

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

CHESTER, VA (WWBT) -  Continuing coverage on that gruesome discovery in Swift Creek. Police recovered what may be the body of a Chester woman who's been missing for nearly two months. We caught up with Kelly Catalano's next door neighbor after she heard the news.

Police have not released the identity, but did talk to Catalano's family. Her neighbor hopes this will help bring them answers and maybe some closure.

On this quiet night on Overridge Drive, Mary Johnston mourns for her neighbor, even though police haven't confirmed whether the body that washed up on a small island in Swift Creek is that of Catalano. Johnston's heart sank when she heard the news.

"It's been very hard because looking out there next door every day and wondering where she was and how she was it's been very hard," said Johnston.

Catalano vanished nearly two months ago. She left her workstation at Blue Print Automation and told colleagues she was going for a walk.

About a mile south of the factory, a body, police say with clothing similar to Catalano's, was discovered by a Virginia Tech student. Jonathan Moore was in his canoe about a half mile from the White Bank Park boat landing.

"I was checking on my bird boxes before the birds do get here. That's when I stumbled across an unfortunate sighting," said Moore.

The Chesterfield Police Department is leading the investigation.

"The body appeared to be in the water for an extended period of time," said Captain Terry Patterson.

Johnston knew Catalano for about four years.

"She loved working in her yard, and loved her work, and the people she worked with,"
said Johnston.

Always willing to lend a helping hand with a smile that Johnston says she'll always remember.

"She was always such a happy person. She loved her house, and she loved her cats, and she was just a sweet wonderful girl," said Johnston.

The body was taken to the Medical Examiner's office in Richmond for identification.

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