Officials Release Cause Of Death For Missing Texas Mother Found Dead In Mall Parking Lot

·3 min read

The cause of death for a Texas mother found dead in a mall parking lot has been determined.

Christina Powell, 39, disappeared from her San Antonio home on July 5; she was last seen on her home’s Ring doorbell rushing off to work. On July 23, more than two weeks after her disappearance, her decomposing body was found slumped in the passenger’s seat of her vehicle, which was parked at a shopping center about four miles from her home.

The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office recently announced Powell died of hyperthermia complicated by ethanol intoxication, according to multiple outlets, including NBC San Antonio affiliate WOAI-TV and the San Antonio Express-News.

Her death has been ruled accidental.

The postmortem findings essentially stated that Powell overheated and that alcohol was a contributing factor. Weather reports reviewed by show temperatures reached a high of 106 for the month of July.

Investigators with the San Antonio Police Department said the case is now closed, according to the New York Post.

“We did not find any evidence leading to a criminal investigation," said a spokesperson for the department.

Powell worked as a paralegal and had called into the law firm where she worked to report she was running late the morning she disappeared. She left her Red Hill Place residence around 10:30 a.m., with relatives saying nothing about the day seemed amiss.

Concerns grew when Powell’s 12-year-son answered the door to find one of Powell’s coworkers checking to see why she hadn’t shown up to work. It was later discovered Powell left her mobile phone and medication behind.

Powell's mother, Claudia Mobley, appealed for the public’s help, concerned that her daughter may have been a victim of a car crash. Powell’s bank account also went untouched.

“We’re not even sure she headed to work,” Mobley pleaded. “She could be anywhere. Please, look around.”

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Two weeks later, Powell’s black 2020 Nissan Rogue was discovered by a security guard at the Huebner Oaks Center, a shopping complex in the Northside of the city. The security guard told San Antonio authorities the “suspicious” vehicle had been parked there “for about a week” when he noticed a “foul odor,” leading him to find the decomposing body.

Later surveillance footage revealed Powell arrived at the parking lot just half an hour after leaving her home, according to the New York Post.

Claudia Mobley told the Daily Mail she struggled to grasp how her daughter’s body went unnoticed for so long.

“I don’t understand how the car could have been there two and a half weeks, and they didn’t even notice it until July 11,” Mobley told the Daily Mail. “That was that particular security guard’s first day, I’m told. First day at work. It is shocking. It really is. It just makes me sick to think about it.”

Mobley claimed security video from a nearby jewelry store showed Powell never left her vehicle after arriving.

“It does seem wrong, but I don’t know what to do about it,” Mobley added.

Mobley told the Daily Mail she believed her daughter lived with anxiety while rejecting previous theories that Powell may have taken her own life.

Powell leaves behind her 12-year-old son and a 3-year-old child.