Friends call missing Janesville woman 'a lovely lady'

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Nick Crow
Tuesday, May 6, 2014

JANESVILLE — Friends of Mary Coulthard describe her as a lovely lady and a reliable friend.

"She's very dependable," said Jerry Amstutz, chaplain at Garden Court, a low income housing complex for elderly and disabled people at 208 N. Main St. in Janesville. "Very reliable. This is unusual for sure."

Coulthard, who lives at the complex, has been missing since Friday evening. Janesville police were notified Saturday morning.

Neighbors said Coulthard is well known around the housing complex and seems to be well liked by everyone she knows.

Her friend Mary Falk said Coulthard, 75, left the complex at about 10 p.m. Friday and never returned.

"It's really uncharacteristic for her to even leave the building at that time of night," Falk said. "I'm very, very worried. I have no idea why she left."

Dan Davis, Janesville police deputy chief, said Coulthard has a history of depression. He said officers received information leading them to believe she was not taking medication. It is unclear if that led to her disappearance, he said.

"Information that we have is that this is out of character for her," Davis said.

Police are being assisted by the Janesville Fire Department in searching the river with boats. Flyers have been posted throughout the community asking for her whereabouts. Officers are canvassing neighborhoods and searching vacant dwellings. Police dogs have been used, too, he said.

Davis said he doesn't believe Coulthard's case is related to that of Clayton Courtney, who was charged Tuesday with stabbing his roommate Sunday and is suspected of killing a female friend the same day.

"It's one of those things where we're not prepared to rule it out, but nothing indicates that's the case at this point," Davis said.

Personal property of Coulthard's was found by police on the Milwaukee Street bridge as well as south of the bridge on land near the Rock River. This prompted the ground, water and aerial searches of the river, police said.

Based on the location of the property, police believe she traveled along the river at some point, Davis said.

Amstutz, who has been a chaplain at Garden Court since 2005, said Coulthard is a sweet, compassionate person with deep faith.

"I don't know of anyone who doesn't like her," Amstutz said. "She's very concerned for others and always helping other people."

Friend speaks out about missing Janesville woman (0:35)
Hear Mary Falk's thoughts about her friend Mary Coulthard, who has been missing since May 2.

Davis said a search of Coulthard's apartment revealed nothing out of the ordinary.

"If anybody sees her or has information about seeing her or anything helpful, they need to let us know," Davis said.

Police are under the impression that she doesn't drive, and there has been no activity on her cell phone or bank accounts in recent days, Davis said.

"This has been very difficult for everyone in the building," Falk said. "The Janesville Police Department has been working above and beyond the call of duty."

"But at this late date, I don't expect her to walk in the front door. My worst fear is that she's not alive."

When she was last seen, Coulthard was wearing blue jeans, white tennis shoes and possibly a tan winter jacket.  She is about 5 feet 2 inches tall and 100 pounds. Coulthard has gray hair and hazel eyes.

Last updated: 10:26 pm Tuesday, May 6, 2014

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