Last seen having a smoke near the Neshaminy Creek in Bensalem, 73-year-old Jean Carson seemed to vanish into thin air Wednesday, triggering a missing-person report and a police search by squad car and helicopter.

On Thursday morning, a New Jersey state police marine unit retrieved her body from the Delaware River near the Burlington-Bristol Bridge.

It was not immediately known if Carson, a legal secretary, had fallen into the creek. Her body was found about three miles from the house on Haunted Lane where witnesses told police she stepped outside about 10 p.m. while attending a Christmas party. Neshaminy Creek flows right behind the house.

Bucks County Coroner Joseph Campbell confirmed her identity and said a determination of the cause of death would await an autopsy scheduled for Friday morning.

Carson worked as a legal secretary in Newtown, Bucks County.

Charles Lebegern, 76, of Fairless Hills, said he was Carson's fourth husband. They divorced in 2003.

She was a grandmother several times over and had three sons, he said.

Contact Michael Matza at 215-854-2541 or mmatza@phillynews.com

Inquirer staff writers Jonathan Lai and Bill Reed contributed to this article.