The body of 42-year-old Melinda "Mendy" Rice of Gilmer County, W.Va., was found in a creek near Wileyville on Thursday.
West Virginia State Police confirmed Rice's body was discovered at about 12:30 p.m.. by a survey crew, in a stream behind a home on Mountaineer Highway between Wileyville and Brock Ridge in Wetzel County.
Rice, a mother of four, had been missing since March 20, when she walked away from a residence on Brock Ridge.
Officials said there were no obvious signs of trauma to indicate a cause of death. Her body was sent to Charleston for an autopsy.
Sergeant Shriver, of the West Virginia State Police, stated that the investigation is still ongoing. He also stated that there was no evidence of foul play. However, law enforcement is waiting on the autopsy results to determine how to move forward with the case. Sergeant Shriver stated, "I want to thank the family for their cooperation and help in this investigation. I also want to thank Deputy Neff (Wetzel County Sheriff's Office Deputy Mike Neff) for retrieval of the body, Wileyville and Folsom Volunteer Fire Departments for their assistance with the case, and Wetzel County Emergency Services for their logistic report on the body."
According to Rice's family, several people searched all day on April 1 for signs of the missing mother of four.
Some searched the Brock Ridge area, while others searched the ridges surrounding Brock Ridge.
The family had offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to Rice's discovery. They also had planned another search for next weekend, along with dinner and a candelight vigil.
Rice's family had searched for her, or signs of her whereabouts, since her disappearance.
The family said they found an article of clothing along the road in the area where she was last seen. The item was taken to the state police.
The state police also had taken search dogs to the area where Rice was last seen.
Anyone with any information regarding the case may contact the state police at 304-455-0913.
Also, a Go Fund Me account has been set up to help pay for Rice's funeral expenses. The Go Fund Me can be accessed by searching for "Funeral for Melinda Rice" on the www.gofundme.com website. It is also reachable at www.gofundme.com/funeral-for-melinda-rice
The page says that "Mendy was a daughter, a sister, a mother, a grandmother, an aunt, and so much more to so many people. She had a vibrant spirit and a carefree attitude about life. Her unexpected death leaves a hole in the family. "