The body of a missing Kansas pastor’s wife may have been found inside a shipping container in rural Arkansas. The 36-year-old pastor’s wife, Marilane Carter, who is also a mother of three, had been missing for two weeks. Her uncle had travelled to Crittenden County as part of the search being conducted for her, and it was there that he found a shipping container with its door left open.
Inside the container he found Marilane’s car, and what is believed to be her remains inside the vehicle.
The body has not yet been formally identified, but it has been confirmed that the vehicle belonged to Marilane, and her credit card was also found inside the car.
Authorities at this point do not suspect foul play, and continue to be investigating the cause of death.
Marilane’s husband, Pastor Adam Carter, ministers at the Leawood Baptist Church in Kansas. The church made the devastating announcement of her death on its Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon: “It is with very heavy hearts that we share that Marilane Carter has passed away.”
It added, “Her vehicle and body were found Tuesday in the West Memphis area. Law enforcement says that foul play is not suspected.”
Marilane had not been seen since 2 August when she stopped at a Quality Inn Hotel in Missouri. She was on her way to Alabama to visit relatives and to seek treatment for anxiety, reports have claimed.
Her parents have reported that they received a phone call from her while she was on the road, and at the time she sounded confused and told them that she kept getting lost.
An extensive search was conducted for her over the next two weeks, but tragically this week, her car GMC SUV was found in a remote area off Interstate 55.
Authorities have said that they had previously searched that area and had seen various shipping containers, although they did not search inside them at the time.
Crittenden County Sheriff’s Department Chief Todd Grooms told WREG: “I just never would have dreamed that her vehicle would have been up inside one of them.”
He added that no foul play is suspected: “I believe that anything that happened, happened by her own doing.”
Pastor Adam Carter has said that he last spoke with Marilane on 2 August, but later his wife’s phone went dead. Authorities were able to determine that the phone went dead somewhere near the I-55 bridge.
Marilane’s mother, Marlene Mesler, has said, “We were in contact with her all the way, but then, partway through the trip, she started seeming confused and disoriented. She said she kept on getting lost.”
The body has been taken to the state crime lab in Little Rock for an autopsy.