The search for a missing Holladay woman ended Sunday when her body was found in a remote portion of southeastern Idaho.
Campers spotted Michelle Erickson's body near her red Pontiac Grand Am on a dirt road in Walker Creek, an area 25 miles south of Pocatello, around 11:30 a.m. Inside the car, police found charcoal lighter fluid, prescription drugs, a letter and photographs of Erickson's children, said Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen.
"Everything at the scene was consistent with suicide," he said. "We're investigating it as a suicide unless something else comes up."
The discovery marked the heartbreaking end of a family's and community's search for the 36-year-old mother of two.
On the night of June 9, Erickson bought groceries at a WalMart in the Fort Union area and made arrangements with her former stepson to cut his hair. That was the last time family members heard from her.
Erickson, who owned her own home cleaning business, failed to show up for an appointment June 11. That was followed by a call from her ex-husband, with whom family members said she was still on good terms, after she did not show up to cut his son's hair as planned.
On June 12, family members and Erickson's landlord entered her Holladay apartment. Shortly after, they filed a missing person report with the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office.
But a full-blown investigation was not launched because family members were not sure if Erickson decided to meet her parents and son and daughter, ages 12 and 13, for a family vacation at Lake Powell.
When her parents returned to Salt Lake without her, a full investigation was launched.
Family members said Erickson suffered from depression in the past, but they were unaware of any recent problems.
Police said Erickson used a credit card to purchase charcoal lighter fluid in Downey, Idaho, on June 10. That may have been the day she died, Nielsen said . Erickson appeared to have been dead for 10-12 days, police said.A coroner planned to examine the woman's body today, police said.
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