KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Renita Thompson's family had been searching for days in the snowy woods after she was reported missing a week ago. Today, days before Christmas, they found her body.
"I walked over to the side of the line, and when I looked over, I seen her body," Katrina Harlin, Thompson's cousin, said. "I couldn't do nothing but fall back in the van."
It was a gruesome discovery off the side of the road at Gregory and Ewing, near the I-435 exit, Saturday. The spot was just a few miles from where she was last seen on Dec. 14 in a black Honda Accord near 93rd and Cleveland.
"I'm hurt because I been out here since Tuesday, and I don't know. I just don't know," Harlan said. "But I'm glad I was able to find her for her mother, and her aunties and her grandma and her babies. Now they have closure."
In the hours since finding her body, they are now trying to process it all.
"We didn't want it to be this outcome. We wanted to find her alive, and this is the outcome we got," Thompson's grandmother, Joyce McCrae, said.
Kanas city police spending the day combing the scene where the body was found. As the news spread, more than 20 family members made their way to the scene.
"First of all, I want to thank everybody for everything they have done, from the time you came out here and did the search, the prayers and all your love you have given, it was needed. The prayers are the reason we found her," said Thompson's aunt, Carla Silvers.
Kansas city police say an autopsy will be performed to determine an exact cause of death.
Meanwhile, family members say they hope the answers they need will come to light.
"They can at least sleep knowing she not out here by herself, and we weren't going to give up searching for her," Harlan said.
Police are asking anyone with information that could help detectives to call the Homicide Unit directly at 816-234-5043 or the TIPS Hotline anonymously at 816-474-TIPS. A reward of up to $25,000 is available for information leading to an arrest.