A Maine community is mourning the death of a 28-year-old Sebago woman who was found dead Sunday in her car, submerged in the Ossipee River.
Sarah McCarthy was last seen leaving the pub in Cornish where she worked, Fairgrounds Pizza & Pub, just before midnight on Friday, driving her Subaru Forester.
The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday that just before 1 p.m. on Sunday, a passerby driving on Elm Street and Federal Road in Parsonsfield saw the vehicle submerged. When the car was pulled from the water by emergency crews, McCarthy’s body found inside.
The sheriff’s office said evidence at the scene indicated the 28-year-old was driving westbound on Federal Road toward New Hampshire at a high speed when she failed to navigate a turn in the road.
“Her vehicle careened off a snowbank and into the river,” authorities said.
McCarthy’s friend, Betsy Balchunas, wrote on Facebook that the 28-year-old had planned to drive to North Conway, New Hampshire, to meet a friend after she left work Friday.
“We have video of Sarie taking a right-turn out of Fairgrounds Pizza and Pub in Cornish,” Balchunas wrote. “She spoke to her mother briefly on the phone and described herself as cold and confused. She was not able to provide her location before the phone disconnected. Immediately after she spoke to her mother, she spoke to a friend on the phone briefly. Again, she was struggling to provide her location. During this phone call, a woman could be heard approaching Sarie’s vehicle and asking if Sarie was okay. Sarie’s phone is believed to have died during this exchange and had not yet been turned back on.”
Investigators with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and York County Sheriff’s Office are working to determine the cause and manner of McCarthy’s death, as well as the circumstances leading up to it.
“The public safety community wishes to express its condolences to Sarah’s family and friends as they deal [with] this tragic situation,” the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office wrote. “The CCSO also wishes to thank members of the public for their numerous tips in trying to find Sarah, along with the driver who spotted the car in the river and notified police.”
McCarthy’s mother, Beth McCarthy, told WGME that she is grateful for all those who helped look for her daughter over the weekend.
“Hundreds and hundreds of people reach out, so it says a lot about our community, and I’m forever grateful,” she told the outlet.
On Facebook, the pub where McCarthy worked announced a candle lighting memorial service would be held Tuesday evening.
“All of us at Fairgrounds are saddened by the devastating loss of our good friend Sarie McCarthy,” staff at Fairgrounds wrote. “We extend our deepest, heartfelt condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time. Everyone who knew Sarie was touched by her kind and cheery spirit. She is, and will be, missed by all.”