Missing Gary-area woman died from crash trauma, drowning

The death of a missing woman whose remains were found this week has been ruled an accident, coroners said Thursday.

Preliminary findings following an autopsy Thursday on 23-year-old Ariana Taylor of Calumet Township are consistent with trauma from a motor vehicle accident complicated with drowning, the Lake County Coroner’s Office said.

Other results are pending, it said.

Taylor’s body was found at in a shallow drainage ditch around 9 a.m. Wednesday following a search by cadaver dogs, Gary Police Cmdr. Jack Hamady.

The body was found more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) from where her vehicle was found on April 3, Hamady said.

At the time, police said they were investigating the crash as a hit-and-run.

Police would not comment on whether foul play could be involved.

Last week, Taylor’s mother reported her missing after the SUV she was believed to have been driving was recovered after having crashed down an embankment along Interstate 65 near the border of Lake Station and Gary.

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