Paula Knudson Ferbache, last seen leaving her job at Wal-Mart Friday afternoon, was later found dead in the trunk of her car, Elmore County Sheriff Mike Hollinshead said Monday.
Details of how Ferbache died have not been released, but an autopsy was under way Monday afternoon, Hollinshead said. The woman’s death was reported Saturday as suspicious and clarified as a homicide Sunday, but no information was released until Monday about why that conclusion was reached.
Deputies are following numerous leads and “we’re talking to several people,” Hollinshead said, but no one has been arrested and no person of interest has been publicly identified.
Ferbache left work at the Mountain Home Wal-Mart about 2 p.m., and her husband called 911 when she had not arrived home by 7 p.m., Hollinshead said. Deputies searched for the woman and her car late into the night without success, but around 8 a.m. Saturday a citizen reported seeing the car along a dirt road in an agricultural area about four miles northeast of Mountain Home, the sheriff’s office reports.
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The sheriff did not disclose the specific location where the car was found, but said examination revealed the woman was dead in the trunk. Ferbache lives in the same general area where her car was found, Hollinshead said Monday.
Asked whether investigators believe Ferbache was taken as she left work, Hollinshead said various possibilities are under investigation, and deputies are reviewing surveillance video from Wal-Mart and other area businesses.
Idaho State Police are assisting the sheriff’s office with the investigation.