Forty-seven-year-old Kristin Westra was last seen alive by her husband Jay last Sunday night. He reported her missing on Monday morning. ABC News reported this morning that her body was found Friday in a wooded area, and that her death has been ruled a suicide. Details about the cause of death — or regarding the state of her remains — were not disclosed.
Jay Westra told officials that he first realized that his wife was gone when he awoke Monday and found that she was not home. Cumberland County Sheriff’s Captain Scott Stewart said that Jay had told authorities that he had seen his wife the night before, prior to heading to bed. At the time, Kristin had just returned from a jog.
Kristin’s brother, Eric Rohrbach, said that she often had problems sleeping — and explained that Jay told him that when she got out of bed about 3:00 Monday morning, he assumed that she was going to try to get some sleep in another bedroom. He further explained that Jay Westra had tried to call Kristin Monday morning only to find that she had left her phone, keys, and wallet at home. NBC News reported that Jay Westra also said that he searched for Kristin before he contacted law enforcement.
Rohrbach admitted that his sister had been under some stress related to her work in addition to some stress surrounding renovations that were being made to her home, but he described her disappearance as “very abnormal.” The Times Reporter indicated that Kristin Westra was seen by a nurse practitioner the day before she went missing and was found to not pose a danger to herself or others.
Authorities launched an extensive search this week that included eight sheriff’s detectives, Maine State Police officers, and officers from the Maine Warden Service. Game Warden Corporal John MacDonald said Wednesday that, “Nearly 50 trained search crews, K9’s, ATV’s and drones were used to cover varied terrain that included wetlands, thick forest and open fields.” Much of the search took place during dark and rainy conditions. Westra’s body was eventually discovered Friday morning by two girls who were walking in a wooded area about half a mile from the Westras’ home. Captain Craig Smith of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said that it’s possible that previous searchers overlooked the body because of vegetation in the area. He added that it’s an area that his team had planned to take another look at this weekend.
Upon hearing news that his wife’s body had been found, Jay Westra posted to Facebook, “My heart was crushed today.”
Kristin Westra taught elementary school and had a 9-year-old daughter and 16-year-old stepson.