Angela Armstrong, a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, mother who went missing in June and was found dead in a neighboring garage weeks later, died by suicide, local police announced Wednesday.
The disappearance and, later, death of Armstrong, was the cause of much confusion in her community, as locals wondered how she ended up in a garage so near her house without being found, and whether there was foul play involved.
Friends and family were able to raise more than $11,000 for memorial expenses and to cover the cost of her two children moving to live with their grandmother.
Here’s what you need to know:
Weeks After She Went Missing, Armstrong Was Found in a Garage Near Her Home on June 23; Police Announced Wednesday That the Corner Concluded She Died by Suicide
Armstrong went missing on June 3, after leaving her home around midnight. Sioux Falls police said at the time that it was unusual for her to go off without telling anyone, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported.
About three weeks later, a neighbor reported a foul odor and police found Armstrong’s SUV, which was also missing, inside the neighbor’s garage, with what turned out to be Armstrong’s body next to it.
Although police said there were no obvious signs of trauma or foul play, it was almost a month before toxicology results would come back: PIO Sam Clemens said at a news conference Wednesday that Armstrong was determined to have died by suicide.
“As far as our end, the investigation is now closed,” Clemens said.
Locals and reporters were puzzled when a second missing Sioux Falls person turned up dead in a vehicle nearby his house about two weeks later. Nima Sherpa, 48, was found in the backseat of a neighbor’s car, covered by a black sled, on July 2.
Earlier this month, however, police said that Sherpa displayed no signs of homicide or suicide and that their investigation would likely close, KELO reported.
Clemens said at a July 8 news conference that the two deaths were “completely isolated” from one another.
Armstrong Was Remembered for Her ‘Radiant Smile’ & ‘Kind Heart,’ & Her Son Posted a Touching Video Tribute to Facebook
Armstrong’s obituary painted a caring mother and dedicated professional, with three children. One is an dul now, but her two youngest lived with her at the time of her death.
“Angie was always willing to lend a hand, an ear or a kind word,” the obituary read. “She touched many lives with her radiant smile, her kind heart and her willingness to help others.”
Armstrong’s grown son, Alec Craig Small, put together a touching video tribute to his mother, set to “The Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie.
“I will never stop making you proud, Momma,” Small said. “I love you and miss you very much.”
The video has been shared over 5,000 times, and the comments are filled with broken hearts. Filled with images of Armstrong and her children, as well as her mother, in happier times, it ends with these words: “Until we meet again, somewhere over the rainbow, we love you, Angie.”
A friend of Armstrong started a GoFundMe to cover her funeral expenses and the cost of her two young children going to live with their grandmother in Iowa. As of Thursday, it had exceeded its goal of $10,000, bringing in $11,265.
“Thank you to everyone that helped us look for Angie and showed so much love and support to the family for 20 dats, and the continued love and support now in the planning of a burial, a celebration of her life service and the children moving to Iowa,” the organizer wrote. “Spread kindness and pass on judgment of others, as my dear friend Angie did. We can all make the world a better place in her honor.”