Natalie Jones, a mother from Heard County, Georgia, who went missing after attending a July 4th party, was found in her car, according to what Jones’ mother, Elaine Gordon told Atlanta news station WSB-TV.
Jones’ car was found in a heavily wooded area, leading some to speculate someone it moved there to hide it. However, law enforcement officers have said that there has been no evidence of foul play regarding how her car got to that spot and have also said that the car had been there “a while,” the Newnan Times-Herald reported.
Jones’ family members told 11Alive that they do not believe Jones, the mother of two sons, would have abandoned her children, and they are waiting for what an autopsy will tell them; according to La Grange News, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) was planning an autopsy for Thursday, October 8.
No details from that autopsy have been released yet.
Jones First Went Missing After Attending a Party
The 5-foot-five-inch, hazel-eyed 27-year-old Jones was last seen on July 4th in her car around midnight, according to the (GBI). The GBI issued notices, alerting people that Jones was missing and what kind of car she drove, a 2002 pink Chevrolet Cavalier.
According to WSB-TV, Jones had attended a party in the neighboring state of Alabama and texted a friend letting the friend know that she made it home. She was seen around midnight on July 5, leaving the lake house of a friend that was located in Jackson’s Gap, Alabama.
Jones left the party at 10:30 p.m., according to what Heard County Sheriff Lieutenant Danny Boswell told People magazine. She sent her friend at the party a message, which said, “I made it. Thanks.” at 12:52 a.m. Boswell said that her phone’s last recorded ping was at a cell tower in Heard County at around 5:15 a.m., which he said was at the opposite end of where her home was located.
Before her car was discovered, Jessica Bishop, Jones’ sister, told 11Alive Jones would never intentionally vanish. “She’s always on social media posting pictures. She always, will either take her children or will tell her children where she’s going,” Bishop said. “She’ll let one of us know where she’s going.
Jones Was Found in Her Car Months After She Disappeared
La Grange News reported that Jones’ car was discovered on October 6, in the woods off of Roosterville Road by a man clearing brush for the property owners. Heard County Sheriff Ross Henry said, “I would think it’s her. I don’t want to speculate. It could be someone else, common sense would tell you it more than likely is (her).”
In that article, law enforcement also reported recovering several items that they did not identify. Law enforcement said that a cell phone was in the car, but they did not say whether it belonged to Jones, according to local ABC-affiliate news station, News Channel 6.
“It’s like she stopped somewhere and fell off the face of the earth and that’s exactly what happened.” Sheriff Henry Ross told that station, “You know for whatever reason she was there and then there was no more phone activity or citing or anything and that explains why.”
11Alive reported that law enforcement did confirm that the body inside the car belonged to Jones and Jones’ mother, Elaine Gordon, told WSB-TV, that police told her that her daughter had been found on the night of October 6.
Law Enforcement Say They Detected No Foul Play, But the Family Says They Would Not Have Missed Her Car During Searches
Law enforcement officials have said they suspect no foul play in how Jones’ car made it to where it was found, La Grange News reported. Henry said that was no damage to the car and that the car appeared to “have been there a while.”
In an interview with The Newnan Times-Herald, Henry expressed frustration with what he deemed misinformation, which was hindering the investigation. “Everything that has been said – 90 percent is just stuff they have fabricated,” he told the paper. “My guys have been working on this tirelessly for three months. Social media has been our biggest obstacle to following up on opinions or theories … it’s just frustrating the bad information that goes through there. It takes a lot of man-hours to do that. It’s just frustrating for law enforcement.”
“The car has been there, probably from the day she went missing,” he told the paper. He also added, “There was no wreck. The car was clearly driven to that location.”
Henry went on to describe the environment around the car, telling the Times-Herald that “growth around the car was 8 or 8 feet tall.” He also said, “There were bushes grown up through the trees, through the bumper. The car has clearly been there for a long period of time.”
“Whoever fabricated that the car was not there – they caused a lot of trouble,” Henry said.
Gordon, however, told WSB-TV that she does not believe there was no foul play involved in her daughter’s disappearance. She told the station that her daughter was involved in a contentious custody battle where threats had been made. She also said that search parties had been through that area thoroughly.
“I know we had ten cars out and every one of them passed that spot where her car was found,” Gordon said.