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ID Released For Remains Of Woman Found In Northern Westchester Reservoir

Diver's work to bring Brenda Kerber's vehicle to the surface from the bottom of the Muscott Reservoir.
Diver's work to bring Brenda Kerber's vehicle to the surface from the bottom of the Muscott Reservoir. Photo Credit: White Plains Public Safety

A woman who had been missing for more than 30 years has been identified as the person found inside a vehicle at the bottom of the Muscoot Reservoir.

Brenda Kerber, age 40, of White Plains, a mother of two from two marriages, was found more than 30 years after she went missing in September of 1989, said the Chief of the White Plains Department of Public Safety Joseph Castelli.

Kerber's remains were found on Tuesday, Jan. 19, in a station wagon pulled from the Muscoot Reservoir in Somers.

Castelli said on Friday, Jan. 29, that based on the findings by the county's medical examiner and a review of evidence in the case, indicates the manner of death was suicide by drowning.

The case of Kerber's disappearance was reopened after the state DEP located a car submerged in the reservoir. The plate and the description of the vehicle matched the description of the vehicle in the original case, prompting the reopening of the missing person investigation, Castelli said.

Kerber was last seen on Thursday, Sept. 28, 1989, by a former friend.  during an investigation into her disappearance, Kerber's personal ID papers were found inside a handbag in her Alex Drive apartment in White Plains. However, police said her 1982 Ford Granada station wagon was missing. 

"We hope this brings the family some closure," he said.

Following her disappearance, Kerber's family placed ads in USA TODAY, offering a $1,000 reward for information. Her parents, Dorotha Barratt-Knecht and James Barratt Jr. have since died. 

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