The deceased body of an Arkansas woman was found Saturday near Highway J, off the Interstate 44 exit in western Phelps County, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
An highway patrol incident report states that the woman, identified as Mary R. Stephens, 79, of Violet Hill, Ark., is believed to have died as a result of being exposed to the elements after her vehicle was found nearby off Highway J.
An investigation by the highway patrol states that officials believe Stephens was driving a 2005 Toyota RAV4 eastbound on I-44 at Highway J, about 15 miles west of Rolla, when she exited at Highway J.
Patrol officials believe the vehicle then traveled off the east side of the highway and struck several trees before coming to a rest.
The patrol report states that Stephens is believed to have survived the crash and was able to leave her vehicle, which was totaled. Her body was found nearby, according to the highway patrol.
Phelps County Deputy Coroner Lenox Jones pronounced Stephens dead at the scene. Her body was taken to the morgue.