SPRINGDALE AR Sept 25 2017 -- The Arkansas State Crime Lab positively identified Christy Nichols, 45, of Noel, Mo., as the woman found dead inside a car in the Northwest Medical Center parking lot, according to police.
Nichols' family reported her missing Aug. 6 to the Noel Marshal's Office. Bentonville Police Department joined the investigation Aug. 31. She was last seen alive Aug. 6 at the Catalyst Church in Bentonville, according to a press release from Bentonville Police.
The cause and manner of death is under investigation. The body did not have any obvious signs of trauma when it was found Sept. 13, according to a Springdale Police press release.
"It is believed the body and car had been there for some time," according to the press release.
Hospital staff called police about a possible unattended death at 11:10 a.m. Sept. 13. A body was buckled in the driver's seat of a 2008 black Mazda in the southwest parking lot.
Nichols' body was decomposed to the point that no photo or family witness would have been able to make a positive identification, Lt. Jeff Taylor said.
Hospital spokeswoman Christina Bull said last week she could not speak about the incident and why the car was noticed sooner.
"Northwest Health recognizes that security and safety are both important for quality healthcare. We have security measures in place to support a safe and secure environment for our patients, visitors and staff," Bull said. "Security officers are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Officers do foot patrols of the buildings and grounds. Security also limits access to the buildings at night and on weekends."