Decomposing body found in car in shipping container believed to be missing mum

The body of a missing mum who vanished more than two weeks ago is understood to have been found in her car in a shipping container.

Mother-of-three Marilane Carter, 36, from Kansas, was last seen on August 2 when she checked into a hotel in Missouri, while on her way to Alabama to get medical treatment for mental health concerns and to visit her pregnant sister.

She later called her parents several times, sounding confused, and told them she kept getting lost, before her mobile apparently cut out. She was not heard from again.

After a two-week search, her uncle discovered her grey GMC SUV parked inside an open shipping container on Tuesday in Crittenden County, rural Arkansas. Inside the vehicle, he found decomposing human remains, which are believed to be those of the mother.

Her body has not yet been formally identified but police confirmed the vehicle belonged to Mrs Carter and a credit card showing her name was discovered inside. Officials have not released a cause of death but do not suspect foul play.

The Leawood Baptist Church in Kansas, where Mrs Carter’s husband Adam is a pastor, confirmed her death in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

A post read: ‘It is with very heavy hearts that we share that Marilane Carter has passed away.

‘Her vehicle and body were found Tuesday in the West Memphis area. Law enforcement says that foul play is not suspected. Please keep Pastor Adam and the children in your prayers’.

Her husband told KMBC that he last saw his wife on the night of August 1 when she left their home in Overland Park to take the trip to Birmingham, where her parents live. She had planned to fly but decided to drive at the last minute.


She was spotted the following morning in surveillance footage as she was checking into a Quality Inn hotel. She checked out three hours later and left in her car.

The mother, whose daughter turned three on Monday, was last heard from later that night. She spoke to her husband on the phone but the line cut off.

A short while later she spoke to her mother Marlene Mesler, before the line went dead again.

‘We were in contact with her all the way, but then, partway through the trip, she started seeming confused and disoriented. She said she kept on getting lost,’ Ms Mesler told WREG. 

After a search was launched, her husband told WMC Action News: ‘Our three kids miss her. I miss her. We want to have her home.’ 

Her uncle later searched the area of West Memphis close to where her phone last pinged, which is when he found a shipping container with the doors open showing his niece’s car.

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