A search party found a body in a badly burned car in Perry Township Friday morning during a search for a missing Perryopolis woman.

An investigation is ongoing to determine the identity of the person and the cause of death. Foul play is not suspected, according to state police.

DNA tests will confirm whether Caroline "Susie" Branthoover, 74, was the person in the car. The car was spotted at about 10 a.m. in a wooded area along French Island Road in state game lands, an hour after the search party was organized. 

Branthoover was last seen at 1 a.m. Wednesday driving a red four-door Pontiac on Independence Avenue in the borough. Because of severe damage, police were unable to immediately determine whether the car belonged to Branthoover.

The fire may have been caused by a crash, police said, though a full investigation will be completed to make that determination.

"Apparently she went off the road at a sharp bend and went down into a field," said State Police Trooper Robert Broadwater.

All-terrain vehicles, state police and Perryopolis Police lined the narrow road where the car was found Friday. Branthoover's family called on the community's help to find her, organizing the search party in Star Junction. She lived about one mile from where the car was found. Branthoover had been diagnosed with memory problems and other medical conditions, including COPD.

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