Body found in White Bear Township field is Sonja Gail Smith
No one had heard from Sonja Gail Smith after she left a bar in White Bear Township on Saturday night. She was presumed to have simply gone home.
Early yesterday afternoon, however, a young woman's body was found in a field near the bar. Ramsey County sheriff's spokesperson Randy Gustafson says the body is Smith's. She likely took a shortcut home that proved fatal.
Gustafson says that the 31-year-old lives only a couple of miles from Don's Little Bar, where witnesses said she'd been earlier with her boyfriend.
When she left, she crossed into a field behind the bar, which is a dense and swampy wooded area. She left a trail that seems to tell the story. Gustafson says she would have had to cross a small creek and in her wake left first a shoe, then her coat.
She was discovered on Sunday afternoon, collapsed about 200 yards from the nearest building, her pants soaking wet. Cops say they believe she died of hypothermia.
"It appeared that she had probably gotten lost," says Gustafson. "There aren't any walking paths or anything like that."
An autopsy will be performed today to determine the official cause of death.
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The approximate location where Smith's body was found.
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