By CJ Cassidy
PEMISCOT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Rescue crews in Pemiscot County say the winter weather could be to blame in the death of a 51-year-old Hayti woman.
Family members reported Carolyn Brown missing earlier Sunday morning.
"We had been working with local agencies to and family members, trying to locate her," said Deputy Josh Bost with the Pemiscot County Sheriff's Office.
Emergency crews eventually found Brown's body buried in the snow. She was less than half a mile away from her car.
"The cause is unknown at this time," Bost said. "There is no sign of foul play."
Police say Brown left her vehicle around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning, wearing only a thin jacket over her clothes.
"Her brother who was with her said they'd become stuck in a ditch, and after that she decided she was going to try to make it home about three miles away. She took off walking. He called her other sister to come get him, and ever since then, they've been looking for her," Bost said.
Deputies say Brown's footprints and her body had been covered up by the steady snow overnight, but winds eventually blew most of it away revealing her jacket.
Several volunteers who showed up to help police find Brown also proved very useful.
"We volunteer to help people who are lost or stuck or whatever," Lisa Franks said.
As it turned out, those volunteers had to bring out heavy machinery to drag deputies vehicles out of deep snow drifts they got stuck in during the search.
"A lot of our officers had their own four wheel drives," said Lt. Michael Coleman with the Caruthersville Police Department. "Some of them were equipped with emergency equipment in their vehicles, so we asked them to drive their personal vehicles."
In the meantime, investigators hope to figure out an exact cause in Brown's death soon.
They hope people learn from this tragedy and say if you ever get stranded on a snow covered road, stay in your car until help arrives.