CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have identified the body of a woman found along the Catawba River Wednesday morning as 56-year-old Janet Simpson.

That one part of the mystery is solved, but investigators are still digging into a lot of questions.
How did she die? Was she killed?

The Charlotte woman disappeared December 5. Janet Simpson's SUV was found four days later, along the Catawba River in a remote part of Belmont.

Her body washed up on the shore of the river, near Amos Smith Drive in southwest Mecklenburg County Wednesday morning.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department is handling the case now.

We spoke with Belmont Police Chief David James who said they have to look into every option. He has no idea whether this was a homicide, suicide, or just a horrible accident.

We also spoke with Simpson's ex-husband. Mike Stephens said Simpson s family lives out of state and is headed to Charlotte. They will speak to the media later this morning.

Stephens and Simpson were good friends after the divorce. He's spoken for the family, since her disappearance.

Simpson was last seen at the Liberty East Restaurant on East Independence Boulevard. The people who work there tell us she was a regular. In fact, a missing person flyer still hung on the restaurant door Wednesday evening.

You wonder what did happen to her and why it took so long to find her, said Troy Speas, customer.

Customers and employees there knew her and tell us, nothing seemed out of the ordinary, the day she disappeared in December. They all want to know what happened to Simpson?

Was it someone that followed her from here or was it someone hiding in her car? wondered customer Winnie Elliott. She possibly didn't lock it while she was here. You just can't help but wonder what on earth happened.

Police say a homeowner saw Simpson'sbody floating near his riverfront property and called police.

I can't imagine for my neighbor who found it this morning, said Lori January, who lives in the neighborhood where the body was found. It's very shocking. It's not something you want to see happen in your lifetime.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department is in charge of the investigation, since the body was found on the Mecklenburg County side of the Catwaba River. A spokesperson for CMPD said the body will be taken to the medical's examiner's officeto determine the cause of death.

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