*The woman has been identified as Earmia Avery. An earlier version of this article misspelled her name.
COLUMBIA — The body of a 59-year old woman was found Thursday lying in the woods beside a creek bed.
Burke said she was called to the scene at 4:50 p.m. to retrieve the body and that the Columbia Police Department was not treating the investigation as a homicide.
Avery's family stood together in the street, holding each other with tears in their eyes as investigators retrieved her body. Yellow police tape was wrapped around the trees by the creek.
According to Pearlie Moore, Avery’s stepmother who was at the scene, Avery had been missing for two days.
Police spokeswoman Latisha Stroer said the department had been working a death investigation since 3:50 p.m. Thursday. The investigation is ongoing, according to a news release from the Police Department. No additional information is available at this time, the release said.
Missourian reporters Christopher White, Caitlin Jones and Christine Coester contributed to this report.
Supervising editor is Karen Miller.