Woman reported missing in April found inside submerged car in Butler Co., Mo.

Woman reported missing in April found inside submerged car in Butler Co., Mo.

BUTLER COUTY, Mo. (KFVS) - The Missouri Highway State Patrol confirms that the body of a female was found in a submerged car in Butler County, Missouri on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

On Wednesday, Aug. 21 Stoddard County Coroner Kenny Pope said the female has been identified as 39-year-old Crystal Marie Brown.

The Dexter Police Department also confirms the woman as Crystal Marie Brown-Hart who had been reported missing and last seen in early April. Her next of kin has been notified.

An autopsy took place on Wednesday, Aug. 21.

According to County Coroner Kenny Pope, the preliminary results show Brown died from drowning. There were injuries consistent with a car crash, but it’s not believed to be her cause of death. Final toxicology reports are pending for an official cause of death.

Police said an investigation into what happened is on-going.

The car, a black Mitsubishi Lancer, was found in the St. Francis River, near a bridge off the East side of Route 60, close to Fisk, Missouri.

According to MSHSP Sgt. Clark Parrott, a fisherman boating on the St. Francis River Monday night came across a dark vehicle in the water, took a picture of the license plate and reported it to police.

A dive team recovered the vehicle at approximately 1:30 p.m. and found Brown-Hart inside.

Investigators are working to identify the female and to learn the cause of death.

The car was towed from the scene by Rapid Recovery in Poplar Bluff.

Parrot said a preliminary report indicates damage to the car is consistent with a crash.

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