Police in Arkansas believe they have found the body of a Kansas pastor’s wife missing for two weeks after she set off to drive to visit family in Alabama, WMC Action News reports.
The Crittenden County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday they found the vehicle Marilane Carter was driving when she left Overland Park, Kansas, on August 1. Inside, they found remains they believe to be that of the missing woman.
Chief Todd Grooms said the GMC Acadia, registered to Marilane and her husband Adam Carter, was found in an empty storage container on private property.
Sheriff Mike Allen said a family member helping search the area found the vehicle at about 11 a.m. It was hidden from view and appeared to have driven into the container. Allen said the medical examiner will confirm the identification and the cause and manner of death, but he added that it did not appear suspicious.
Marilane Carter’s purse and credit cards were found inside the SUV, Grooms said.
— Luke Jones (@LukeJonesTV) August 18, 2020
Carter originally bought a ticket to fly to Birmingham, Alabama, where her sister was about to give birth and where she hoped to get mental health treatment. But she changed her mind and decided to drive the distance, leaving Overland Park at about 8:15 p.m., as CrimeOnline previously reported.
Using credit card charges, cell phone data, and surveillance footage, authorities tracked Carter through Missouri Saturday evening, August 1, with a stop at a McDonald’s in Rolla. At about 3:30 a.m., she was seen on surveillance footage checking into a Quality Inn in West Plains, Missouri, then checked out at 6:03 a.m.
Later on Sunday, Carter fueled up at a Shell Station in West Memphis, Arkansas, where surveillance footage showed she also picked up a cup of ice water. She spoke with her husband via cell phone Sunday evening until the call dropped, and shortly thereafter called her mother in Birmingham, speaking for about 15 minutes before that call, too, dropped.
The last pinged location of her cell phone was at 8:02 p.m. as she neared the Mississippi River into Memphis, Tennessee. When she hadn’t arrived in Birmingham at 3 a.m. Monday, Adam Carter, pastor of Leawood Baptist Church, filed a missing person’s report.
The sheriff’s department said several members of Carter’s family were in the area over the weekend, but all had returned home except for an uncle, according to 3KSN. He was driving and walking in the area where Carter’s phone last pinged and saw three shipping containers in a field.
When he approached, he saw the door was open on one of the containers. When he saw the Acadia with the body inside, he called the sheriff’s department.
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[Featured image: Marilane Carter/Overland Park Police Department]