Hottenstein Mystery: “We Want Answers”

The parents of Tracy Hottenstein, the woman whose body was found on a mud bank in a Sea Isle City marina on February 15, want to know what led to their daughter's death.

The case is a mystery, but police are hoping a new interview with a person of interest will shed more light on her death.

It was a cold February morning when Hottenstein’s body was found lying near the city-owned marina on 42nd Place. The death was a shock to the business owners, fishermen and residents who live in the fairly quiet area.

"She would have never been down in that area…it's pretty desolate," her mother Betty said Wednesday.

Hottenstein died the day before the city's Polar Bear Plunge. Thousands flock to the shore town to charge into the frigid Atlantic, hang at bars, participate in charity races, and enjoy craft and food fairs.

A man who was with Hottenstein that night, considered a "person of interest," had been interviewed by investigators and was to be interviewed again this week, according to sources close to the investigation.

So far, all the family has is an incomplete picture of what happened the night Hottenstein died, that leaves them to imagine the most horrible scenario.

Surveillance footage captured Hottenstein and the man leaving the Ocean Drive bar at 2:15 a.m. the morning she died.

The Conshohocken woman's family believes Tracy wasn't alone when she went into the water.

"The greatest stressor is the unknown," Charles Hottenstein said as he fought back tears Wednesday.

Their only daughter, who would have turned 36 a few days after her death, had been a standout athlete at Souderton Area High School and the University of Delaware.

An autopsy showed Tracy suffered leg injuries and several cracked ribs, but died from hypothermia.

The family is hoping the new interview will give police additional information as to what happened.

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