WYOMING, Mich. -- A woman's body was found under the ice at the pond in Battjes Park shortly after midnight.
Tracy Cashman, 38, was walking her dog at the park, which is across from her house, at around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday. The initial investigation indicates that Cashman accidentally fell through the ice trying to rescue her dog after it had fallen through the ice during their walk.
Around 9 p.m., Cashman's 19-year-old son noticed that the dog, Lola, returned to the house soaking wet.
“The dog came back and she didn’t and I figured she was just looking for the dog so I waited and I guess I waited too long," says Jerome See, Tracy's boyfriend.
Family members went to Battjes Park to search for her before contacting the Wyoming Department of Public Safety for assistance.
"There’s no lights over there and we looked and we looked and then we finally called the police," says Rhonda Moore, Tracy's mother.
According to the Wyoming Department of Public Safety, at approximately 12:25 a.m. Sunday officers were dispatched to the park regarding a missing person report.
After arriving at the park, police officers and firefighters observed Cashman’s body under the ice of a pond. Fire department personnel performed a cold water rescue. However, Cashman was already deceased.
“It didn’t take them that long," says Moore. "They actually drove back there with their big lights and they could see where she had gone through the ice and they found her shoes, so they knew that she was there.”
The Kent County Medical Examiner’s office responded to the scene. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday morning.
Cashman had three children; a 19-year-old son and two daughters ages 18 and 12. The family is asking for help covering her funeral expenses. The family has set up a GoFundMe page for donations.
Cashman worked at the Godfrey-Lee School District for the last 15 years, according to Cashman's family. She had been currently working to organize the school's bus schedules. The district announced it will be closing early on Monday in Cashman's honor.
“She loved it. She loved those people. She loved those kids," says Moore.
Moore says her daughter had a heart of gold, which is probably why she tried to save her dog.
“She wasn’t foolish. You know what? She acted on instinct because she had such a big heart," says Moore. “That dog was like a, any dog, any cat would be just like another kid to her."