A body found off Center Road in the town of Pharsalia on Tuesday has been positively identified as being that of Jennifer Renz Ramsaran, the 36-year-old Chenango County mother who was last seen alive Dec. 11, Chenango Sheriff Ernest Cutting Jr. confirmed Thursday.
He said the positive identification was made by the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office following an autopsy conducted Wednesday.
The autopsy has not yet yielded the cause of death of the New Berlin woman, he said. Cutting also said the results of toxicology tests are not yet complete.
Jennifer Ramsaran’s husband, Ganesh “Remy” Ramsaran, has told investigators that he last saw his wife when she left to go Christmas shopping at a Syracuse mall Dec. 11. The husband was notified by the sheriff’s office Thursday that it was his wife’s body that was recovered in Pharsalia, Cutting said.
Ganesh Ramsaran said in a statement: “I would like to thank all those who gave up many precious hours of their own lives to help look for Jennifer. To all of the friends and family of both mine and Jennifer’s, I thank you. I especially thank the businesses that stepped forward and offered their services.”
He thanked St. Batholomew’s Church in Norwich, volunteers who aided in the search for his wife, as well as a business that assisted in printing missing person flyers, among others.
Cutting said Jennifer Ramsaran’s parents, Thomas and Carol Renz, were also notified that the medical examiner officially identified the body. The sheriff said dental records were used in making the positive identification.
Ganesh Ramsaran has said that sheriff’s department and state police investigators spent four days combing his house for evidence that might shed light on his wife’s disappearance.
He said he was questioned extensively by investigators and given a polygraph examination, and has cooperated with the investigation since its inception.
A project manager for IBM who works at home, Ganesh Ramsaran said he also acknowledged in those interviews that he had a one-time tryst with a close friend of Jennifer Ramsaran who later became his running partner.
Ganesh Ramsaran and his running partner participated in a road race in Binghamton last May, in an effort to raise donations for the Epilepsy Association of Greater Rochester, according to a posting on Crowdrise.com, an online fundraising site.
In recent interviews with The Daily Star in late January, Ganesh Ramsaran said his wife had become increasingly depressed over the past several months, didn’t want to be called “Jen” or “Jennifer” and was going through “lots of different changes.”
He said then her mental state was a possible factor in her disappearance, noting, “That is definitely one of the scenarios.
“The kids miss their old mom, not the one that was here the last six or nine months when she went through all the different changes.”
On Thursday, Cutting, citing investigatory reasons, said he could not comment on what led police to the body in Pharsalia on Tuesday.
Police are also studying the cellphone records of Jennifer Ramsaran. On Dec. 12, her husband, using GPS technology, located her iPhone near Moon Hill Road, off Route 23 in Plymouth. Four days later, her maroon 2006 Chrysler minivan was located by her father outside the Plank Road Manor apartment building at 95 Plymouth St. in Norwich.
Cutting said it has not been established how long the vehicle had been at that location.
Last week, Cynthia Caron, a New Hampshire woman who said she has been assisting Ganesh Ramsaran in the search for his wife, disclosed that he told her a substance that appeared to be blood was found in the van.
Ganesh Ramsaran later said if there was blood in the vehicle, it could have come from nosebleeds that his wife and son have experienced while inside the van.
The announcement that the body had been identified as Jennifer Ramsaran triggered a flood of postings on the Chenango Sheriff’s Facebook page.
Wrote Tammy Radke of Norwich: “Look at the husband. Dec. 12th, the very day after she went missing him & the children were at the Christmas pageant at the school. I know if my spouse was missing, my world would stop!!!”
Another comment that drew numerous “likes” was posted by Donna Anderson of Norwich: “I really hope it is NOT her husband, so that their kids get to keep one parent in their lives.”
The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information about Jennifer Ramsaran’s death to contact the agency 337-1924 or 337-1864. Officials said all calls will be kept confidential.