Local authorities are investigating the death of a Frankfort woman who died Saturday, three days after she was pulled out of the Kentucky River.
Mitsey Garlen, 43, died at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital Saturday.
Frankfort Fire and EMS Director Doug Taylor said emergency officials responded to a call around 6 p.m. Wednesday to the boat dock off Old Lawrenceburg Road across from Cliffside Restaurant about Garlen falling into the water.
Taylor said bystanders told responding emergency officials that Garlen was with them on one of the docked boats when she left the group to go stand near the stern.
“I don’t know if they were waiting for her to come back, but for whatever reason, they went to the stern of the boat and found her floating in the water,” Taylor said.
It’s unclear how long Garlen was in the water, but a bystander told emergency officials that Garlen was gone from the group for about five minutes, Taylor said.
Frankfort EMS arrived to find bystanders trying to resuscitate Garlen, Taylor said. On the way to Frankfort Regional Medical Center, emergency officials restored her pulse, but as far as Taylor knew, he said Garlen never regained consciousness.
“She improved en route, but apparently, she succumbed to her injuries,” Taylor said.
There’s no official cause of death. The autopsy report is incomplete, pending toxicology reports, said an employee of the Fayette County Coroner’s Office.
Sheriff Pat Melton said the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation into Garlen’s death. He declined to release details, pending the ongoing investigation.
Garlen’s father, Henry Adams, says he doesn’t know why his daughter was at the boat dock Wednesday. He said he was told Garlen went there with her husband to visit a friend of Garlen’s.
“Her husband (Timothy Garlen) was waiting for her at the top of the hill (in their car), and she never returned,” Adams said. “After awhile, someone came running up … and said they just pulled her out of the river.”
From FRMC, Garlen was transported to UK Chandler Hospital, where she was put on life support. Adams said doctors told him if Garlen were to show improvement, it would have been within 72 hours. But she never regained consciousness, Adams said, so the family opted to take her off life support Saturday.
Adams said the family is looking for answers into how Garlen died.
“Nobody seems to know how she got into the water, and she’s an excellent swimmer,” Adams said. “Nobody knows how long she was in the water. There’s just a lot of unknowns, a lot of uncertainty.”
Garlen was a 1987 graduate of Western Hills High School and former owner of Outskirts Restaurant in Lawrenceburg. She leaves a husband, three children, a stepdaughter and three grandchildren.
“She was just a great little girl … she had love for everybody,” Adams said.
Funeral services are 2 p.m. today at Ritchie & Peach Funeral Home.