Body found in car at Valparaiso Market Place; woman had been reported as suicidal
BY JAMES D. WOLF Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent February 10, 2014 2:45PM
Police found the body of a Mishawaka woman in a car partially buried under snow in a Valparaiso parking lot. | James D. Wolf Jr./For the Post-Tribune
Updated: February 10, 2014 8:08PM
VALPARAISO — Police found the body of a Mishawaka woman missing for four weeks in her car, partially buried under plowed snow, in the parking lot of Valparaiso Market Place.
Police have not identified the woman beyond saying she was 56 years old and reported on Jan. 18 as missing and suicidal.
Police were called Monday morning to check an abandoned car in the part of the shopping center parking lot close to Target, 2420 Laporte Ave. They found the compact car in the east side of the lot.
The car was completely covered in snow as a result of recent snowfalls and snow removal efforts for the parking lot,” according to a Valparaiso Police Department press release.
The woman’s body was in the back seat.
Valparaiso Police Spokesman Sgt. Michael Grennes said police are investigating how long the car had been there but didn’t know for sure.
Employees at stores in the shopping center said the car had been there for a while.
“It was there for a few days, and they just kept on piling snow on it.” said Jessica Quimby, who works at Quiznos.
“There are cars like that in my apartment complex ... just buried in.”
Quiznos owner Nick Sgouroudis was shocked by the news.
“I just can’t believe it,” he said. “I thought it was just an abandoned car.”
Yo Amazing Manager Alex Respess said he noticed the car when he returned to the business on Thursday, and an employee said it had been there for a few weeks.
However, it’s not unusual cars to be left there, and given their hours, vehicles don’t stand out.
“When we leave, Target is still open, and when we open, everybody else has been open,” Respess said.
McDonald’s employees also park their cars near his section of the shopping center, he added.
Most of the workers and managers stores at the shopping center had not heard of the discovery early Monday afternoon, though some had noticed emergency vehicles arriving in that part of the parking lot around 9 a.m.