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Autistic woman, reported missing, dies after being found in creek

Wendy M. Lippard | Kendall County sheriff's office

A woman with autism died Thursday following a five-hour police search that led to her rescue from a creek in west suburban Bristol.

Wendy Lippard, 37, was reported missing at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday from the first block of Basswood Court and believed to be “endangered,” according to a press release from the Kendall County sheriff’s office.

A Kendall County sheriff’s office drone surveyed the area of Galena Road and Highland Drive with the assistance of a Chicago Police Department helicopter, the sheriff’s office said. At 12:15 a.m. Thursday, Lippard was found in Blackberry Creek near Willow Lane.

Emergency responders treated her on the scene before she was taken to Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora, police said. She died later that day.

An autopsy conducted Thursday ruled her preliminary cause of death was drowning, according to the Kane County coroner’s office.

Lippard, who was only clad in purple pajamas when she disappeared, faced temperatures that were in the teens the night she disappeared, according to the National Weather Service.

Kendall County sheriff’s officers were investigating the death.