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CHARLOTTE, N.C. It s been a difficult 24 hours for the family of Janet Simpson; her body was found along the banks of the Catawba River Wednesday.

Simpson had been missing since Dec. 5.

She had a great time, she lived a great life, said her ex-husband Mike Stephens. She enjoyed herself.

For 35 years Stephens was a part of Simpson s life, now he is trying to cope with the fact that he will never see her again.

It s like a roller coaster, it's up and down, he says. There is a certain amount of closure as far as us knowing where she is.

Simpson s body was found a short distance from where her SUV was discovered in December.

The cause of her death is unknown. There has been some speculation that she ended her own life because she was distraught over the passing of her mother. Stephens doesn t believe that.

I don t put any of that together, he said. She was upset because it was her mother but I don t think she was stressed out to the point of doing anything to harm herself.

Simpson s family has been told it could take weeks before the medical examiner determines a cause of death. It s possible that the family might never know.

We don t want to have to go through that, we hope we don t have to go through that, but it s like anything else you learn to live with things, Stephens said.

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