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Kansas Mom's Body Discovered In Arkansas Shipping Container Weeks After She Disappeared On Her Way To Alabama, Family Confirms

“The family asks for your thoughts and prayers right now and in the upcoming days,” Marilane Carter's brother-in-law said after the mother of three's body was discovered Tuesday.

By Jill Sederstrom
Marilane Carter Pd

The body of a missing Kansas mom was discovered in an Arkansas storage container in what authorities believe was likely a suicide.

The Leawood Baptist Church, where Marilane Carter’s husband serves as the lead pastor, confirmed the 36-year-old mother’s death Wednesday in a Facebook post.

“It is with very heavy hearts that we share that Marilane Carter has passed away,” the post states. “Her vehicle and body were found Tuesday in the West Memphis area.”

Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office Chief Investigator Todd Grooms told The New York Post one of Carter’s uncles discovered the body inside her grey SUV Tuesday on a private farm in West Memphis. The vehicle had been driven into a shipping container.

The body was found in the driver’s seat of her GMC Acadia SUV, along with her purse and credit card.

“No foul play is suspected at this time,” Grooms told the news outlet. “She was traveling through here and found that place and this is where her journey ended.”

Investigators believe that Carter may have taken her own life by asphyxia from carbon monoxide poisoning; however, the results of an autopsy on the body are still pending.

Grooms said no note had been found with the body.

Sheriff Mike Allen said authorities are still trying to determine how the mother of three gained access to the property, which is usually gated, according to local station WMC.

Overland Park Police Det. Blake Larsen previously told Oxygen.com that Carter disappeared on Aug. 2 while on her way to Birmingham, Alabama to visit family.

She left her home in Overland Park, Kansas the night before around 8:15 p.m. and checked into the Quality Inn in West Plains, Missouri at 3:37 a.m. on Aug. 2, according to AL.com. She checked out of the hotel just hours later at 6:08 a.m.

Larsen told Oxygen.com that Carter had spoken with her husband and mother around 8 p.m. the night she disappeared, but that her phone had been turned off just a short time later. She had been in the West Memphis, Arkansas area at the time.

Overland Park Police said in a statement at the time that Carter had made “concerning statements” to her family just before she disappeared.

Carter had initially purchased a Southwest Airline ticket on the day she took off on the road trip. She had planned to fly to Birmingham to visit her pregnant sister and also seek mental health help, but after taking a nap, she woke up and decided to drive to Alabama instead.

“That helps give a view into her mindset,” Larsen said, according to AL.com.

Carter was the wife of the Rev. Adam Carter, the lead pastor at Leawood Baptist Church in Kansas. She leaves behind three young children, who family members have said were told the heartbreaking news about their mother on Tuesday.

“The family asks for your thoughts and prayers right now and in the upcoming days,” her brother-in-law Brady McLaughlin told AL.com.

McLaughlin described Carter’s husband as “absolutely devastated” by the news of her death.