- Associated Press - Friday, January 6, 2017

MILWAUKIE, Ore. (AP) - The body of an Oregon woman who had been missing for more than a week was found in the trunk of her car, authorities said.

The Kia Optima belonging to 68-year-old Merrilee Cooley was spotted by police Thursday night at an apartment complex in the Portland suburb of Milwaukie, Clackamas County sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Jensen said.

Detectives responded and found the body in the trunk. Police have not released additional details.

“We’re trying to piece together if we have a suspect,” Jensen said.

Cooley lived alone at a mobile home and needed a walker to get around.

“She loved people,” daughter-in-law Wendy Eilers told The Oregonian/OregonLive. “Nobody was a stranger to her. She could start a conversation with anybody, and everybody was her friend.”

Eilers said she and her husband and children visited Cooley the day after Christmas. Two days later, friends checking on Cooley found the front door unlocked and items in a purse dumped on the floor.

The woman’s walker was tipped over in a hallway and her car was gone.

A man who lives at the apartment complex where the car was found told KGW-TV that it had been in the parking lot since last week.

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