Mystery surrounds a 17-year-old girl who was found dead in the woods two days after she crashed into another car and walked away.
Lauren Jenkins appeared to be injured when she limped away from the scene of the crash on Friday and went missing after her car struck another vehicle in Raleigh, North Carolina police said.
It was not until Sunday that her body was found in a wooded glade in the nearby Springdale Estates by officers with tracker dogs.
An open container of whiskey was found inside Jenkins’ car although it remains unclear whether she was intoxicated at the time of the accident, according to the Highway Patrol.
Lauren Jenkins was found dead in the woods two days after she crashed into another car and walked away from the scene in Raleigh, North Carolina
An open container of whiskey was found inside Jenkins’ car although it remains unclear whether she was intoxicated at the time of the accident, according to the Highway Patrol
Jenkins was making a left turn at the intersection of Leesville and Oneal Road when she failed to yield and hit another vehicle head-n, the Highway Patrol said.
It remains unclear what caused the collision, although police ruled out speed as a factor.
Jenkins, who was seen leaving the scene of the crash on Friday, did not contact her family.
Her body was found two days later near the two ponds in Springdale Estate.
The medical examiners office is performing an autopsy to determine whether she died from injuries sustained in the collision, and whether she had alcohol in her system.
A 17-year-old girl who was sitting in the passenger seat of Jenkins’ car suffered a concussion, while the 19-year-old in the backseat suffered broken bones and had to get stitches.
The two passengers were released from the hospital and may face charges, Trooper D. Gray told WCNC.
Lauren Jenkins’ car was involved in a collision on Leesville Road (pictured) in Raleigh, North Carolina but her body was only found in nearby woods two days later
Lauren’s old school friend, Savannah Beale, said she was shocked to find out she had died and added: ‘I honestly thought that she was in a friend’s house kind of thing and she just needed like a couple days maybe just to calm down.’
Savannah said: ‘My stomach dropped. I didn’t really know how to feel. Like, one of my friends died. She’s just gone and I’ll never see her again. It’s just like a disturbing feeling.’
Another friend, Kayla Ray, tweeted: ‘Continue praying for the Jenkins/Harms family. Life is so unfair, and Lauren will be greatly missed.’
The Medical Examiner’s Office was due to carry out an autopsy yesterday to determine the cause of death and Wake County Sheriff’s Office and the State Highway Patrol are conducting exhaustive inquiries.
The Jenkins family issued a statement in which they said: ‘We would like to thank all of those who reached out to help search for our daughter, to those who shared our daughter’s photo on social media and to all of those who put their lives on hold to help resolve this nightmare.
‘Out of respect for our family, we ask that you give us the privacy and time needed to mourn this enormous loss. We know there are unanswered questions, and in time, they will be resolved. In the meantime, please continue to keep Lauren, her family and her friends in your thoughts and prayers.’