NSB Amtrak fatality victim suffered broken neck in either push or fall from moving train
Barbara Arteta, 63, of New Smyrna Beach, returning on an Amtrak train with her husband from a trip to New York with an expected arrival in Sanford, was instead found dead Thursday on railroad tracks in southwestern Georgia. She disappeared overnight Wednesday with her purse and $1,000 in cash. Only her shoes were left behind. Now law enforcement officials are trying to figure if she was pushed out of a window or fell, the latter more difficult to believe since they are difficult to open.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Barbara Arteta died from a broken neck after she was either pushed or fell from an Amtrak train in Georgia overnight Wednesday while on her way home from New York with her husband to visit a new grandchild, officials said.
The body of the 63-year-old woman was found near tracks in Jesup, Ga., near Savannah after the Amtrak train reached Sanford that Thursday morning.
She sustained multiple injuries, the most severe being a broken neck as a result of either being pushedv or falling from Amtrak Auto Train 53, which she was returning on from New Rochelle, N.Y., with her husband, Eugene, Georgia officials said.
The husband told authorities he woke up early Thurday to find his wife missing, along with her pocketbook, which had $1,000 in cash in it. All that was left behind were her shoes.
The purse was found with her body later Thursday, but authorities declined to say whether the money was missing.
Arteta's death is being treated as "suspicious" until more evidence is uncovered, said Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Mike McDaniel, adding his office is looking to interview passengers in cars 5310 through 5313, as well as the lounge area.
The most likely scenario was through a window that was opened rather than the doors of the moving train that only made stops in Virginia and Sanford after Artteta and her husband boarded in New York, officials said.
Because the victim suffered from Parkinson's and other ailments that made her weak, family members have told media outlets, adding they suspect she was pushed or thrown from the train.
Passengers on board or anyone else who may have information on the case are asked to please call the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's tip line, 800-597-8477.
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