Body found in Del. River may be missing mother

Posted: June 22, 2010

Searchers have found a body in the Delaware River near where a mother disappeared on Sunday afternoon.

Maribel Gonzalez, 44, of the Richmond Hill section of Queens in New York City, fell into the water about 4:30 p.m. after trying to get from a disabled boat onto an inflatable raft.

Her two daughters were aboard the boat, which had run out of gas, according to the Coast Guard.

The body was recovered about 10:30 this morning by West Deptford's Verga Fire Department.

Although the Coast Guard called off its search Monday morning, New Jersey State Police and local authorities continued to search the river, especially the area where the accident happened - near No Name Island, off the Gloucester County town of National Park, across from the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Helicopters, divers and side-scan sonar were all part of the effort.

The body was found late this morning, and family members were notified, state police said.

The identity has yet to be confirmed, however, state police spokesman Sgt. Stephen Jones said early this afternoon. The body was being examined by the Gloucester County Medical Examiner's Office.

Gonzalez was not wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident.

"Wearing them is what saves lives," Jones said.

Philadelphia Marine Police, the Philadelphia Fire Department, and Gloucester County Fire and Rescue were also participants in the search.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or

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