Police revealed Wednesday the preliminary cause of death of missing Kansas woman Marilane Carter, last seen by her family on August 1st.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Carter’s uncle found her body sitting in her SUV on Tuesday, which was parked inside the empty shipping container on private property in a rural area of West Memphis.
Chief Todd Grooms told The Kansas City Star that there was evidence the car had been running while inside the container. Based on initial evidence, Carter likely died of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office.
“Information gathered from family members concerning her mental and emotional state during her final communications along with facts gathered from the scene have led investigators to believe that Marilane Carter drove the vehicle into the container and in doing so caused her demise,” police said in a statement.
While an official identification has not been made, several pieces of evidence point to the body being Carter’s. Police confirmed the SUV belongs to the missing woman, and her credit card was found inside the vehicle. Police also said clothing found on the deceased woman’s body led them to believe it was Carter.
The Arkansas State Crime Lab will complete the autopsy and make the official identification.
Carter left her home in Overland Park, Kansas, and was en route to Birmingham, Alabama, to visit family and seek help from a medical clinic for sleep issues when she disappeared. Security footage showed her checking into a hotel in Quality Inn in West Plains, Missouri, on Saturday night, but she only stayed around three hours.
Her family last heard from her by phone late Sunday, when she was in Memphis, Tennessee. Family members became worried when they didn’t hear from her again, sparking a large-scale search.
“These have been the longest weeks of our lives, as we tried to cling to hope that Marilane was still alive. Thank you to all who have offered words of encouragement, prayers, tips, help, and support during this very difficult time,” Carter’s family said on a social media post on Tuesday.
Carter leaves behind a husband and three children.
This is a developing story. Please check back for more updates.
[Feature Photo: Marilane Carter/Handout]