KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) – Law enforcement in Arkansas believe they have found the body of a missing Kansas mother of three.
In a tragic end to this multistate search, Marilane Carter was likely found dead Tuesday in her vehicle in West Memphis. Positive identification of the body is still pending.
Officials do not suspect foul play.
Carter has been missing for more than two weeks. The Overland Park mom left Aug. 1 to drive to Birmingham, Alabama, to visit family and seek mental health treatment.
Police first tracked her to Rolla, Missouri, where Carter stopped at a McDonald’s. Then she checked in to a hotel in West Plains, Missouri, but was there for just over two hours before checking out.
Her next stop, police said, was a convenience store in Hazen, Arkansas. She then traveled east to West Memphis where officials saw her on a gas station surveillance camera on Aug. 2.
On Tuesday, the Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office said they found a vehicle matching the description of Carter’s vehicle in a field in West Memphis, Arkansas, near the Mississippi River. The vehicle is registered to Marilane and her husband Adam Carter.
When deputies searched the vehicle, they found a woman’s remains that they believed to are Carter’s. They also found a credit card in the car with her name on it.
It was actually a family member who found the vehicle first, authorities say.
The sheriff’s office said Carter’s family came down over the weekend to search for her, but eventually returned home — everyone except her uncle.
Tuesday morning, he was driving and walking around the area where Carter’s phone last pinged when he came across three big shipping containers in a field, authorities said. The door on one of the containers was opened.
He looked inside and found a vehicle matching the description of Carter’s vehicle and also found a body inside the car. The sheriff’s office said the uncle called the Crittenden County Sheriff’s Department, and they rushed to the scene.
Before Tuesday’s discovery, Carter’s disappearance stumped police for more than two weeks.
The mother of three talked several times with her husband and mother during her drive south. At one point, she appeared to be confused and disoriented on a drive that family said she’s taken many times.
“At one point Marilane mentioned to the family that she was traveling on dirt roads, going on a trek,” Carter’s brother-in-law, Brady McLaughlin, previously said. “It should be interstate highways between two metropolitan areas, so that’s concerning and confusing.”
After her final sighting at the West Memphis gas station, police said their search went cold.
Agencies in Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee were involved, including the FBI. Even the public got involved, taking boats to the Mississippi to begin searching with sonar devices.