Elmira/Corning Regional Airport
Family Gets Answers
Written By: Tanja Rekhi
BATH (WENY) -- Family and loved ones are learning more about the death of a Southern Tier woman.
A hiker found the body of Bobbi Jo Hatter this weekend, who had been missing since March 19th. The female hiker noticed a window pane missing in a hunting stand in Bath and went in out of curiosity.
She found Hatter and called 911. Investigators determined the leading cause of death to be hypothermia. Those close to Hatter say she'd recently started using bath Salts.
"She tried this drug," said Hatter's dad, William Margeson. "We can point fingers at a million people, but let's start pointing them at the ones that are doing this and giving them to our children ,"
Bobbi Jo Hatter's death marks the seventh in the last two years related to drug usage in Steuben County.
"These substances are different than anything we've dealt with before. Even when you're not on things like bath salts, they continue to do things. They change your brain chemistry," said Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker.
Toxicology results are still pending, but Bobbi Jo's dad, Willliam Margeson says she hadn't been the same the last six months, He says she was seeing things.
"This drug is a killer and we have no idea who's child could be next," said Margeson.
Three months ago Bobbie Jo's sister Billie Jo, was trying to convince Bobbi Jo to move with her further upstate for a fresh outlook and better life.
"I wish I tied her up and put her in my van and took her home," regrets Billie Jo.
Hatter lost her young son years ago. He died in a car accident. Her other son is incarcerated. Family members say she recently lost her home as well.
"There are hurting people in the world. People need to be loved and validated and I want her remembered as a beautiful wonderful woman," said Aunt, Linda Vanskiver.
Drug usage is a growing concern in Steuben County. The Sheriff's Office is working with the District Attorney's office and has created a tipline to help stop usage. It's (607) 844-DRUGTIP. They are also going to make a website where people can leave anonymous tips.
"The more information we have on drug use and drug sales the better we are to combat that," said Steuben County Undersheriff Jim Allard.
Hatter's family realizes the growing issue and is working with law enforcement to stop usage. They've set funeral arrangements at the Acly-Stover Funeral Home in Corning. Calling Hours & Visitation are April 3 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The funeral will be Friday at 1:00 p.m. Hatter will be laid to rest following the ceremony at Nondaga Cemetery in Bath