Carrie Olson found dead in Minnesota - KMSP-TV

Iowa woman missing for 3 months found dead in Minnesota

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HASTINGS, Minn. (KMSP) -

An Iowa woman missing for more than 3 months was found dead in Minnesota over the weekend.

The Dakota County sheriff's office said the body of 29-year-old Carrie Elaine Olson was found Saturday on an empty lot near Hastings, Minn.

The body was discovered in the woods off Presley Circle by the property owner and appeared to have been there fewer than 36 hours.

CARRIE'S DISAPPEARANCE

Carrie Olson's disappearance was a high-profile story in Iowa, and how she died remains a mystery.

Olson was last seen at a gas station in Rock Island, Illinois, back in December. Police have questioned Olson's boyfriend, who was spotted driving her car a few days later. Olson's family said her purse was found inside the car, but no cell phone or wallet.

BODY LOCATED OFF GRAVEL ROAD

Olson's body was located in an area that is only accessible by a gravel road, 175th Street, in a wooded area on private property in Hastings.


Photo by Paul Blume [Expand]

There are only three houses in the area, and investigators confirm the body was found just 15 yards from the road.

"It's a pretty remote area," Chief Deputy Tim Leslie said.

Neighbors nearby were shocked to learn that the 3-month search for Olson ended 300 miles from her hometown.

"It's hard to imagine the body there all winter," Kyle Kragenbering said. "With all the snow we had, it could've been."

Officials have yet to release a cause of death, saying only that further investigation is needed -- and that the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office, the Dakota County Sheriff's Office, and the Davenport Police Department are all on case.

"We've got to determine if there was a murder, if she overdosed, accidental death," Leslie said. "Those are the things we are trying to figure out right now."

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner used dental records to positively identify the body after it was found on Saturday, and Fox 9 News there may be a link in the case between the Olson's hometown and where her body was found.

HASTINGS WOMAN CONFIRMS OLSON'S BOYFRIEND VISITED

While the Dakota County Sheriff's Office works with authorities in Iowa, Fox 9 News has learned the man believed to have been last seen with Olson -- driving her car -- has a connection to Hastings and was in the area around the New Year.

Authorities have declined to offer any specifics, but the man who has been named in other media reports has a female friend living in town who told Fox 9 News he drove to Minnesota some three months ago before flying to Las Vegas from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Olson was last seen on Dec. 28, getting gas, but she failed to show up for work at the family business two days later. Her disappearance has captivated the Quad Cities, located right on the Mississippi, and friends and family launched massive volunteer searches to find her.

"In some fashion, this chapter is closed," Olson's coworker, Loria Woolverton, said. "There is closure. We brought her home. That's what we intended to do. She can now rest in peace, hopefully."

Olson's photo was posted on billboards during the search, and a Facebook page dedicated to finding her generated more than 20,000 likes.

NEXT STEPS

Davenport, Iowa police detectives have met with the Olson family and worked throughout the night Tuesday with Minnesota BCA and Dakota County investigators.

Investigators from Rock Island and Davenport are traveling to Hastings to share all aspects of their investigation. Davenport Assistant Police Chief Donald Schaeffer said that meeting will help determine which agency is in the best position to lead the investigation, with the other two agencies taking supportive roles.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Dakota County sheriff's office at 651-438-4727 or 651-438-TIPS.

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