The search for a Montana mother ended Sunday, 17 days after she went missing, when police found her body inside her car in a storage unit, according to reports. Sally Demarais Smith, a part-time spin instructor and speech and language pathologist at a local elementary school, was last seen at her home in Great Falls on Sept. 25., People Magazine reported. Smith was 53-years-old and lived with her husband and four children.
Smith's body was found around 2:30 p.m. in a storage unit at 3033 Malmstrom Road close to the Malmstrom Air Force Base.
Smith "may have traveled to the Malta area" –– about 168 miles northeast of Great Falls, according to a Missing and Endangered Advisory issued by the Montana Department of Justice on Sept. 29. Police did not make clear why Smith may have been driving in that direction, the outlet added.
"The Smith family would like to thank the community of Great Falls, GFPD and all law enforcement who were assisting and all of the folks on social media who were determined to find Sally. Unfortunately, it’s not the outcome [any] one wanted," Smith's family wrote in a statement to Montana Right Now Oct. 11, the day her body was found.
"Our hearts will forever cherish her. Sally meant the world to us more than anyone will know," the family continued. "She was loved and adored by thousands, this we know. The overwhelming support and concern to all of the prayers is a testament of how beautiful of a person she was. She left her everlasting smile on this world and no one can take that away from us. Our hearts forever broken. She will forever be a[n] angel walking beside us. She is our light."
An autopsy was completed Tuesday but authorities are not releasing information about the death until police investigate further, a spokesperson for the Cascade County Sheriff told People Magazine Wednesday.
“As the investigation into Smith's disappearance and death continues, we will provide further updates as necessary,” Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter said in a release.
The Sheriff's office did not respond for comment or further information.