Police: New Jersey woman missing for 6 years found dead inside car submerged in river

Skeletal remains found in a crushed vehicle submerged in a New Jersey river has been identified as those of a woman missing for six years, authorities said.

State police responded Thursday to an area near the port of Salem after the Walker Diving Underwater Construction Co. reported what appeared to be human remains in a vehicle in the Salem River.


Vanessa Smallwood was reported missing in 2014 at age 46.

Officials said following an autopsy Friday that the remains were those of Vanessa Smallwood, who was 46 and living in Burlington Township when she vanished from Cherry Hill in January 2014. Officials said she was driving a minivan and foul play wasn’t suspected.

Salem County Prosecutor John Lenahan said there were no indications of a crime, although an exact cause of death wasn’t revealed.


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