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Police believe they have found body of missing wife of Kansas pastor

Authorities believe a body is likely that of Marilane Carter, the missing wife of Pastor Adam Carter of Overland Park, Kan. In a strange and so far inexplicable development, the body was found in her vehicle inside a shipping container in Arkansas Tuesday.

“With a heavy heart we share this update with everyone.  Today Marilane’s vehicle was found in West Memphis, AR, in Crittenden County.  A female was found deceased in the vehicle. Law enforcement says that foul play is not suspected.  The family asks for your thoughts and prayers right now and in the upcoming days,” findmarilane.com, a website promoted by her family, announced Tuesday.


The shipping container where her car and body were found.

Her vehicle appears to have been driven into an empty storage container on private property in Arkansas according to Crittenden County Chief Todd Grooms who spoke to WMC Action News 5. It is unclear how the driver of her vehicle made it onto the normally gated property and into the container. A purse and credit cards belonging to the pastor’s wife were found inside the vehicle.

Grooms also revealed at a press conference that is was Marilane Carter’s uncle who discovered her vehicle in a Conex trailer that was hidden by tall grass in an area that had previously been searched.

“To be honest with you, I don’t know what I was expecting,” Grooms said. “I was hoping for a more positive outcome, where she would show up somewhere and had maybe been somewhere getting some mental health treatment.”

The body is expected to be positively identified in coming days.

Overland Park police called the disappearance of Marilane Carter, the wife of Pastor Adam Carter of Leawood Baptist Church “a unique and strange case.” She was last seen in early August while traveling to Alabama in her car to visit her sister and seek treatment for mental health issues. Authorities in several states are continuing their search and investigation.

The police had been doing everything possible to find Carter, lead detective Blake Larsen said. Carter left her home in Overland Park on Aug. 1, to drive to Birmingham, Ala., to visit her sister, who is soon due to have a baby, and seek mental health treatment.

Pastor Carter bought a Southwest Airlines ticket for his wife to fly to Birmingham, but after a nap, she decided to drive all the way. “That helps give a view into her mindset,” Larsen said.

The mother of three was last seen in Memphis. A woman said she helped Carter get gas. Afterwards, she was seen going into the bathroom, wearing a white shirt, black yoga pants and a backpack. Her phone went dead somewhere in the area of the I-55 bridge coming into Memphis. The search operations have focused on the Mississippi River, because it’s close to where her phone was last used.

“What makes this one really strange is how everything just stopped at a certain time,” he said. “ A lot of people who go missing, we can continue to track … This one is just strange how it just stopped.”

Police are expected to release more details today.

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice