A landscaping crew working at Calumet Farm found the body of 48-year-old Linda Witman of Lexington sometime around 9:30 a.m. June 29. The Fayette County coroner's office, which pronounced Witman dead at just after 10 a.m., said the cause of death hasn't been determined.
Witman was the wife of Calumet Farm manager Bill Witman. She was formerly the director of sales at William S. Farish’s Lane’s End near Versailles, Ky. and also served as an assistant to Bill Farish.
Lexington-Fayette Urban County Police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said an autopsy was being performed on the victim the morning of June 30, after which the medical examiner will pass that information on to the coroner, who would in turn release it to the media.
“Normally included in that report is the cause of death,” Roberts told The Blood-Horse June 30. “Sometimes it’s very straight forward, but sometimes it’s inconclusive. If the cause of death is deemed accidental or suicidal, then our investigation will be complete, but if the autopsy points to foul play or homicide, then we’ll continue with the investigation. We’re basically waiting for the autopsy to return so we can have a clearer picture of how to proceed.”
Calumet issued the following statement through its attorney Barry Stilz June 30: “The entire Calumet farm family is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Linda Witman. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Witman family at this time of need. In an effort to respect the privacy of the Witman family during this most difficult and unfortunate time, we will have no further comment.”
Roberts said Witman was reported missing June 26 when a man who lives on the property told police his spouse was missing and didn't show up to pick him up from the airport, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. Crews searched the property and search-and-rescue dogs were involved, she said.
“Linda was a super assistant and helped run the sales at Lane’s End for quite a while,” said Bill Farish. “She worked with Pete Bradley in our bloodstock division before she worked for me in the sales department, and she was invaluable to both of us. It’s a really sad thing; she was a very nice person, and I can’t imagine that kind of an end for anybody.”