WOODSTOCK — Oxford OPP said Tuesday that the investigation into a young woman found dead in an idling car on the side of Canning Road near Princeton on Aug. 6 is officially closed.
After a lengthy investigation that began more than two months ago, police have concluded that the death of Jessica Rowe, a mother of one, involved no foul play.
“We’ve ruled out foul play after collecting all of the evidence and evidence from the Office of the Chief Coroner,” said OPP spokesperson Stacey Culbert. “Every investigation takes time, we have to follow and explore the evidence to come to a conclusion.
“We are not releasing a cause of death.”
The investigation began after people walking on Canning Road spotted a black car with tinted windows idling at the side of the road covered in dust.
“People were concerned. It was so covered in dust and didn’t move,” said a neighbour at the time, who didn’t want to be identified. “It’s really sad.”
Detectives from the West Region Crime Unit under the direction of Det. Insp. Randy Wright of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch, combed the surrounding area, queried neighbours and used drones to further their investigation.
At least a dozen OPP vehicles, including a command centre and forensic vehicles, were on the scene on Canning Road for two days.
Before her death, Rowe had plans to celebrate over the next two weeks her son’s first birthday, her 32nd birthday and her wedding.
On the morning of Aug. 6, Rowe had left her Drumbo home for her job in Cambridge, but never arrived.
Concerned family members reported her missing to police and quickly spread the word on Facebook.
She was found on Canning Road around 9:35 a.m., sparking the massive death investigation.
Following news of her death, friends and family mourned her loss, referring to her “an amazing friend” and an “angel.”
“Jessica was a light that brightened everything and everyone she touched. Her loss is a tragedy felt by all,” her obituary read. “She was an angel taken far too soon and will be missed beyond measure.”
Officers guarding the scene on Canning Road collected flowers donated in Rowe’s honor and put them on their dashboards in order not to contaminate the scene.
A GoFundMe account was set up for the family and once the road was reopened, family held a small vigil on the location where her body was found.
Following a post mortem conducted by the Office of the Chief Coroner the following Tuesday, OPP declared they were now investigating a suspicious death and encouraged people with information to call their tip line.
They also stated there was no imminent threat to public safety.
Rowe is survived by her fiancé, Jim Aultman, and one-year-old son, Noah Aultman.
When contacted by the Sentinel-Review, a family member of Jessica Rowe said they were not providing comment to the media.