Kids Find Body Near Search for Missing Teacher

Kristin Westra, 47, vanished from rural Maine home on Monday
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2018 9:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Kids playing in the woods Friday stumbled on a body near the home of a missing Maine schoolteacher, the Portland Press Herald reports. A search team was scouring the area around the house of Kristin Westra—who apparently vanished Monday, leaving behind her car and cellphone—when children made the find within 1.5 miles of her house. Police are waiting for the Medical Examiner's Office to make positive identification, but husband Jay Westra didn't hold back: "My heart was crushed today," he posted on Facebook. Jay says his 47-year-old wife was under considerable stress from renovations at home and at Chebeague School, where she taught, and had undergone a safety "assessment" the day she disappeared.

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"Sunday morning, Kristin was experiencing what I would call some anxiety and she expressed that she had some sleepless nights and was worried," says Jay. A team of police, volunteers, and wardens had searched a 1.5-mile radius around the Westras Lufkin Rd. home on Tuesday and Wednesday, reduced the team size Thursday, and added K-9 teams Friday—but may have missed the body in their sweep. Asked how, Capt. Craig Smith says, "That question has been asked and it is being researched." The body was found 500 to 600 feet from a rural road, per ABC News. Meanwhile, locals tell WGME they're having a tough time over the elementary school teacher's disappearance. "Just kinda be there," says a woman who visited distraught students at Kristin's school. "I brought bagels." (Read more dead body stories.)

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