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Body found floating in water at Mesa golf course, police say

The resuce mission turned into a recovery mission when officials arrived on the scene, the Mesa Police Department said.

MESA, Ariz. — Mesa officials retrieved a woman's body found floating in water early Tuesday morning at Dobson Ranch Golf Course, the city's police department said.

Tuesday afternoon police identified the body as 71-year-old Palma Whatcott.

According to police, Whatcott suffered from dementia and had recently moved to her brother's home near the golf course. 

Whatcott had been reported missing from her brother's apartment on Monday but later was found wandering on the golf course. She was returned home to her brother.

The brother told officers Whatcott had just moved in with him a week ago, according to police.

"It appears that Whatcott was able to open the back gate of her brother's residence and gain access to the golf course and the water," police said.

Whatcott's body was found by an employee at the golf course.

Officers originally arrived at the scene prepared for a rescue mission, the department said. Responding fire officials then determined it would instead be a body recovery operation.

The body was recovered at around 7 a.m., Sky 12 footage shows.

Police said they do not suspect foul play in Whatcott's death.

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