Billings woman found dead in vehicle near Columbus

2013-03-04T11:52:00Z 2013-03-29T15:34:23Z Billings woman found dead in vehicle near ColumbusGazette Staff The Billings Gazette
March 04, 2013 11:52 am  • 

The Montana Highway Patrol is investigating what happened to a Billings woman who was found dead in a crashed vehicle at Columbus.

Deputy Stillwater County Coroner Terry Nystul identified the woman as Tiffany Morgan Roehl, 23. He said the cause of death remains under investigation, pending results of an autopsy on Monday and analysis of samples sent to the state crime lab.

Patrol Sgt. Buck O'Neill said a jogger came upon a vehicle in a ditch near Pike Avenue and Highway 10 in Columbus at about 9 a.m. on Sunday and found Roehl's body in the driver's seat.

On Monday, investigators didn't know exactly how Roehl died, but O'Neill said her death doesn't appear to be suspicious.

O'Neill said it appears the crash happened several hours before it was discovered by the jogger. It appears that the car drifted off the road while driving along Pike, went down an embankment and went nose-first into a dry ditch.

"It left the roadway and it doesn't look like she tried to brake," he said. "There’s no skid marks or anything on the road."

The crash caused minor damage to the vehicle's front end. The airbags deployed but the impact doesn't appear to have been violent enough to cause Roehl's death, O'Neill said.

Nobody else was in the vehicle when emergency crews arrived. Roehl was not wearing a seat belt.

The patrol continues to investigate.

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