Image: Dawn Fital
Dawn Fital, 45, of Pittsfield Township had been missing until divers found her boyd inside a suitcase in a pond in northwestern Indiana. 
updated 6/16/2011 5:30:53 PM ET 2011-06-16T21:30:53

Divers found the body of a competitive billiards player from Michigan inside a suitcase on Thursday in a pond in northwestern Indiana, and authorities said her boyfriend who helped lead them to the scene remains in custody but hasn't yet been charged.

Dawn Fital, 45, of Pittsfield Township had been missing this week. Police arrested her boyfriend 210 miles away in Merrillville, Ind., on Tuesday after he was found acting suspiciously behind a bank.

He remained in custody in Indiana and hadn't been charged in Fital's death.

Divers with the sheriff's department in Lake County, Ind., discovered Fital's body about 10:15 a.m. EDT in a pond behind a Toys R Us store between the communities of Hobart and Merrillville, said Deputy Commander Rob Arnold.

Information from the boyfriend "led to the discovery of the body," Arnold said.

He said any charges in the case likely would be filed in Michigan.

The body was inside a large suitcase, said chief deputy coroner T.J. Adams, who declined to disclose any other details. An autopsy was planned for Saturday so Michigan authorities can attend.

Fital lived with the man and her ex-husband at an apartment complex near Ann Arbor, about 35 miles southwest of Detroit, Pittsfield Township Public Safety Chief Matt Harshberger said.

Police removed boxes, computers and other items from the Pittsfield apartment Wednesday. Fital's former husband told police that he hadn't been in contact with her since Monday.

On Fital's Facebook page, she says, "I know I am a pool playing bum, but that's how I roll." She won at least $600 at an event this month in Las Vegas, according to results posted online by the Valley National 8-Ball League Association.

"She's just below the upper tier" of players, said Nick Leider, managing editor of Billiards Digest, after looking at Fital's results from the past few years. "She hasn't won anything big."

Francine Bowles, 27, a cousin of Fital's ex-husband, recalled playing with Fital's children years ago while their mother sharpened her game.

"It was definitely her passion," said Bowles of Kimberly, Wis. "She'd be in the basement practicing while we were watching a movie. She was just really good at it."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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