Woman's body found in car in Columbia County

Deputies had been investigating disapperance of woman

LAKE CITY, Fla. – Deputies are investigating after a woman's body was found Saturday afternoon in a car parked in the front yard of her boyfriend's home in Columbia County.

A Sheriff's Office Sheriff's Office spokesman said the victim was identified as 43-year-old Veronica Witcher. She was found in the car she owned, which was parked in the yard of 57-year-old Robert Allen, who discovered the body and called authorities.

Investigators say there is no indication of foul play and the medical examiner found no trauma to her body, but investigators are calling it a suspicious death. They are awaiting toxicology results to determine the cause of death.

Allen was not suspected of any crime, but deputies say they have a lot of questions about what happened.

Relatives filed a missing person's report for Witcher on Feb. 2, according to investigators with the Lake City Police Department. They say she was last seen Jan. 30.

Murray Smith, the public information officer for the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, told News4Jax a relative filed the missing person's report after they found Witcher's car. That relative said it was highly unlikely that Witcher would be without her car. 

Deputies say Allen told them that a relative asked him to move her car Saturday. He parked the car at his home, but didn't find the body until Saturday.

Investigators told News4Jax it is not know how long Witcher's body had been in the car.

"There was a lot of clothing and debris back there," said Smith.

As of Sunday afternoon, detectives were still investigating what happened.

"Until we have the cause of death from the medical examiner, we really don't know what happened. Even though we may not know what happened, until we know the cause of death, that will give us an indication where to steer the investigation," Smith said.

"There's a lot of factors that go into how rapidly a body is in decomposition. However, she was in advanced stages, so the medical examiner will give us a more complete picture of that," said Smith.

Smith says that anyone with any information is asked to call the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
"We got a lot of questions and not a lot of answers," Smith said.