Authorities suspect homicide as the cause of death of a woman who was found dead east of Laurel on Wednesday evening, Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder said Thursday.
Linder added that he can't confirm the body is that of Lori Bray, a Laurel woman reported missing earlier this week. The search for her has been suspended because Linder said it likely would yield no new results.
An autopsy is scheduled for Friday, and a medical examiner will determine the identification of the body, Linder said. The body was found by an ATV rider in a wooded area near the intersection of Yard Office Road and Ridge Drive.
Bray was last seen leaving the Cedar Ridge Casino at 315 S. First Avenue at 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Her vehicle was found later that morning at the intersection of Buffalo Trail Road and Laurel Airport Road near the Yellowstone National Cemetery.
Searchers combed the area Wednesday but did not find Bray. On Wednesday night, the body was discovered about two miles away from the search area.
(OCTOBER 2, 2019) The Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office is investigating the circumstances of a missing Laurel woman. Lt. Dan Paris on Wednesday confirmed an "active investigation" is underway involving the disappearance of Lori Bray, but he declined to release any further information.
A friend of the missing woman, Shannon Strong Martin, said Bray was last seen on video surveillance leaving her workplace at Cedar Ridge Casino in Laurel at 12:25 a.m. on Tuesday. Her car was later found abandoned on Laurel Airport Road.
Martin said friends will be gathering at the nearby Laurel Cemetery on Wednesday morning to form search parties.
Martin said in a Facebook post : "Her friends and family are worried — she would NEVER leave her dogs, they are her world. Someone has to know something, no lead is too small. And I ask that everyone please pray that she is found safe."
We will update you if we get more information.