Sheriff says death of woman in pond not suspicious

The Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, investigators and deputies work at a Claverack pond where a body was found, November 19. Photo contributed

CLAVERACK—A body found floating in a pond off Schroeder Road, November 19 at 12:46 p.m. was that of a middle-aged woman, according to a press release from Sheriff David P. Bartlett.

The Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, investigators and deputies were on the scene.

Investigators identified the woman the following day, but were not releasing her name pending notification of family members. An autopsy was performed November 20 at Ellis Hospital.

The Sheriff’s Office reported that “at this time the death does not appear to be suspicious and the investigation is continuing.”

Lieutenant John Rivero told The Columbia Paper there were no further updates as of press time Tuesday and that the Sheriff’s Office was awaiting toxicology reports.


Jada G. Hinds, 21, of Greenport was charged with third degree grand larceny, a class D felony, by the Hudson City Police Department’s Detective Division, Thursday, November 12.

On February 6, Hudson Police received a complaint from a resident that an unknown person was using his credit card and had made fraudulent charges without his permission.

After several months of investigative work, it was discovered that Ms. Hinds had allegedly made at least $7,364.69 of unauthorized charges on the credit card over a 27-month period. Detective Rodney Waithe took the lead on this felony investigation.

Ms. Hinds turned herself in at the Hudson Police Station and was issued an appearance ticket returnable in Hudson City Court at a later date.


After being taken into custody on a petit larceny charge November 13 at 3:55 p.m. for allegedly leaving ShopRite without paying for groceries, Jaime L. Shook, 37, of Philmont was subsequently arrested November 19 on four active warrants, three issued by the Philmont Court and one by the Greenport Court, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

She was arraigned on all four warrants in Philmont Court and released on her own recognizance.

Ms. Shook was due to return to court on later dates.

The first warrant stemmed from a November 7 incident when Deputy Matthew Leonard took a complaint from an unidentified person who was calling to report an incident. Through his investigation the deputy learned that Ms. Shook was allegedly the person reporting the incident and that the incident was allegedly false. The warrant charged her with falsely reporting an incident, a class A misdemeanor. The arrest was made by Deputy PJ Merante.

The second and third warrants stemmed from November 8 and 9 incidents alleging that Ms. Shook violated an order of protection via phone. She was not located at the time of the investigations, and two warrants were issued charging her with aggravated harassment—as a hate crime, a class E felony and criminal contempt—disobeying a court mandate, a class A misdemeanor.

The fourth warrant was based on a November 11 complaint alleging that Ms. Shook was violating an order of protection by contacting a protected party. It charged her with criminal contempt—disobeying a court mandate, a class A misdemeanor.

To contact Diane Valden email

Captain John DeRocha

DeRocha retires after 30 years

GREENPORT—Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Captain John DeRocha retired after 30 years of service, October 23.

Sheriff David Bartlett thanked Captain DeRocha for his service and dedication to the people of Columbia County. “We wish Captain DeRocha and his family the best, and he will be dearly missed. Captain DeRocha is a true public servant,” says a post on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

Captain DeRocha grew up in Copake and is a 1987 graduate of the Taconic Hills School District and a 1990 graduate of the Zone 14 Police Academy.

He was hired at the Sheriff’s office in 1990 as a corrections officer by then Sheriff James Bertram. From 1990 to 1995 he served part-time as a police officer with the Copake Police Department. In 1995 he was assigned to the Law Enforcement Division as a deputy sheriff and in 2001 was promoted to sergeant. In January 2014, he was appointed to Law Enforcement Division captain by Sheriff Bartlett.

In addition to his years of service with the Sheriff’s Office, Captain DeRocha is also a life-member of the Copake Fire Department.

SP toy drive is on but with no open house

LIVINGSTON—State Police in Troop K Zone 1 are holding their annual Holiday Toy Drive now until December 6.

New unwrapped toy donations can be dropped off at SP Livingston, 3353 State Route 9.

For information or questions call 518-851-2001. Due to Covid-19 safety concerns there will be no open house this year.

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