Investigators say missing woman backed car into container, likely died from carbon monoxide poisoning

Published 9:52 pm Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Investigators said Wednesday that a body believed to that of a missing Kansas woman who was found in the driver’s seat of her car inside a storage container likely drove herself there and in doing so killed herself.

Crittendon County (Arkansas) Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Todd Grooms said investigators believe the body found Tuesday in a remote Arkansas field likely died from asphyxiation due to carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of the car’s exhaust running inside the closed storage container.

Marilane Carter became subject the of a multi-state search after was driving to Alabama to seek mental health counseling when she stopped communicating with her family in the West Memphis area.

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Carter’s cell phone was last connected to a wireless network in the general vicinity of where the body was found.

Carter’s uncle who had traveled to the West Memphis area to help search for her, and happened upon the storage containers and noticed one of them was unlocked. After he looked inside he found her car backed into the container and then a body inside.

Investigators said they are awaiting an autopsy to positively identify the body as Carter, but said they believe it’s her.

Chief Grooms said Wednesday the vehicle’s ignition switch was on when they found it and said other evidence indicated it had been running inside the container.

“No foul play is suspected at this time,” Grooms said. “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.”