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Missing elderly woman from Yorktown found dead in a car

July 29, 2014 at 2:29 a.m.
Updated July 30, 2014 at 2:30 a.m.


A 79-year-old Yorktown woman reported missing for almost 24 hours was found dead Monday in the back seat of a neighbor's car.

Family of Mary Wuensch called the Yorktown Police Department when they arrived to visit her about noon Sunday and found the back door of her trailer in the 600 block of East Second Street left open and the home empty, Yorktown Police Chief Paul Campos said Tuesday.

Days earlier, neighbors told family they had found Wuensch sitting inside a car and took her home. Wuensch was believed to have been suffering with dementia, Campos said.

Police immediately began a search, visiting hotels and motels around town as well as looking around the area of her home and in nearby vehicles.

"We couldn't find her and believed that she may have gotten a ride with someone," Campos said.

Campos and the family met again about 2 a.m. Monday to discuss bringing in search dogs from the Connally Unit, a state prison facility in Kenedy.

Campos said he chose to resume search with more volunteers and search dogs in the morning because it was too dark and unsafe to do so late at night.

When the search began in the morning, with the assistance of the search dogs, the DeWitt County Sheriff's Office and the Cuero Police Department, volunteers were advised to take a closer look inside all vehicles within a six-block area.

Wuensch was found slouched in the back passenger-side seat of an inoperable vehicle.

"She was crouched so low you would've had to opened the door to see her," Campos said.

The family declined to comment.

Wuensch was pronounced dead by DeWitt County Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Bill Robinson, of Yorktown. An autopsy will not be performed.

Campos said she died of suffocation in the hot car; no foul play was suspected.

"She had her purse, and she was sitting on her purse," he said. "We wish we could have found her a different way."

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