Body Found In Ward County Near Abandoned Vehicle

Ranch owner notified the sheriff's office

WARD COUNTY, TX - A ranch owner in Ward County discovered on Monday an abandoned vehicle, leading to the discovery of skeletal remains by the Ward County Sheriff's Office. 

Ward County Sheriff Mikel Strickland said the vehicle and body were discovered on a property near the corner of Texas Highway 18 and FM 1776. 

“The vehicle we found … had been reported missing person out of Colorado City in 2015,” said Strickland. 

Sue Noel, who was from the Colorado City area, went missing on September 21, 2015 and was last seen driving her 2012 gold Chevy Equinox. 

"[It’s] an area that’s not checked very often, even by the owner, and he just happened to be in the back of the back of the property and found the vehicle,” said Strickland. 

Strickland said when authorities were searching for Noel two years ago, the last phone signal was in the Monahans area. 

“If you're traveling south in Monahans, you go into a lot of areas where there's not any cell service at all. So we don’t know if that’s the last place that they had turned or if they were in the area,” said Strickland. 

Authorities are confident no foul play was involved.  It didn’t yet officially close Sue Noel’s missing person case.

The body hasn't been identified yet, but authorities are planning to send the remains to either Lubbock or Austin for an autopsy.

“I don’t think there was ever any question that foul play came into it, it’s more just that she’s an elderly female, that she became disoriented for some reason,” said Strickland. 

(Information from

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