Missing Woman Found Dead In Washington Township

Missing Woman Found Dead In Washington Township

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. -

Washington Township Police confirmed to FOX 29's Bruce Gordon that a body matching the description of 39-year-old Renee Sheppard has been found in a ravine about a mile or two from the home where she had come back to stay with her parents.

Police searchers combed the heavy woods behind the Miller Drove home where Renee Sheppard was last seen Thursday morning. Her mother told authorities that Renee had left home to take a walk in the woods, carrying with her a small book and a cell phone.

Tuesday morning, that phone was found in the woods, about a half mile from the house. Investigators checked the call history for clues, but so far, nothing explains this baffling mystery.

Sheppard grew up in Washington Township. She moved away to Colorado about 9 years ago, but returned to her parents' home on September first suffering from what has been described as "emotional issues" Four days later she disappeared.

Washington Township Police Chief Rafael Muniz is leading the investigation.

"We just don't know," he said. "The mother told us she took a walk, that's all we know now."

FOX 29 knocked at the door of the home where Renee had moved in with her parents; her mother declined to comment. Her father is said to be ill.

His former teaching colleagues, friends and former students, spent the day as search volunteers, blanketing nearby neighborhoods with pamphlets and describing the disappearance.

For now, police view this as a Missing Persons case. There is no hint of foul play. They say Renee had a boyfriend back in Colorado, and that he had been extremely helpful and cooperative.

Police tell FOX 29 that Sheppard's body was fully clothed and that there were no signs that she had been attacked in anyway. The medical examiner will now take over to make a positive identification and figure out the cause of death.

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