Missing Mishawaka woman found dead in snow-covered vehicle in Valparaiso

2014-02-10T15:15:00Z 2014-02-11T00:21:06Z Missing Mishawaka woman found dead in snow-covered vehicle in ValparaisoTimes Staff nwitimes.com
February 10, 2014 3:15 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | A Mishawaka woman was found dead Monday in a snow-covered car in a retail parking lot.

Police were called Monday morning to the parking lot at Target, 2420 LaPorte Ave., to investigate an abandoned vehicle.

Police found a compact car parked in the far east end of the lot, with only the rear quarter panel of the car visible.

As police began to investigate the car, a computer check of the license plate showed the owner was reported a missing on Jan. 18 and was suicidal.

Police then discovered Renee Koontz, 56, of Mishawaka, lying in the back seat of the vehicle deceased.

Valparaiso police have been in contact with police in Mishawaka and police continue to investigate. No obvious signs of foul play were observed, police said.

Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said no autopsy is planned, but toxicology tests will be run. He said he is treating the death as a probable drug overdose because there was evidence of drug use found in the car.

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