Crime

Woman's body found at Calumet Farm

A Lexington police car left Calumet Farm on Versailles Road on Wednesday after workers found the body of Linda Witman in a barn at the rear of the property. She was reported missing Sunday.
A Lexington police car left Calumet Farm on Versailles Road on Wednesday after workers found the body of Linda Witman in a barn at the rear of the property. She was reported missing Sunday.

Lexington police and the Fayette County coroner's office are investigating the death of a woman whose body was found Wednesday on historic Calumet Farm.

Police were called to the farm between 9:30 and 10 a.m. after workers doing landscaping found the body of Linda Witman, 48, of Lexington, in a barn at the rear of the property at 3301 Versailles Road, authorities said.

Fire department emergency medical technicians determined that she was dead, police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said.

The coroner's office released the woman's name. A cause of death has not been determined. Roberts said it was too early to say whether foul play is suspected.

On Sunday night, authorities were called to the farm after receiving a report of a missing person. A man who lives on the Calumet property told police his wife was missing; she was supposed to pick him from the airport but didn't show up, Roberts said. She confirmed Wednesday that Witman was the person who was reported missing.

Crews searched the farm throughout the weekend, Roberts said, and search-and-rescue dogs were involved.

Police Lt. Richard Bottoms said the farm's manager made the missing-person call. The farm's Web site lists Bill Witman as the farm manager.

A woman who answered the phone at the farm Wednesday afternoon referred questions to the farm's attorney, Barry Stilz. Stilz said he had no comment.

One worker said he was sent to tell reporters gathered near the farm's main gate that workers wouldn't be speaking about the incident. About 200 people work at the farm, said worker James Sagrecy.

Calumet Farm, with its signature white fences and white barns trimmed in red, has been a landmark in Lexington since 1924.

The farm nearly closed in 1992 after it went bankrupt. However, 30 minutes before it was to be auctioned, Henryk de Kwiatowski — a well-known Thoroughbred breeder until his death in 2003 — flew in from the Bahamas to save the farm, buying it for $17 million.

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