The body of a woman who parked her car on the I-95 Whittier Bridge in Newburyport late Tuesday morning was found several hours later along the Merrimack River below.

Massachusetts State Police troopers found the empty vehicle parked in the northbound breakdown of the bridge around 11:20 a.m. Several personal items were found inside that allowed trooper to identify the driver as a 70-year-old woman from Beverly, Massachusetts.

The State Police Air Wing, K9 Unit, and Underwater Recovery Unit as well as Environmental Police, police Marine assets and the US Coast Guard responded to the river to search for the woman by land, water, and air after Beverly Police checked the woman's address and found she was not there.

A canoeist reported to Salisbury Police finding a body in some wetlands around 3:15 p.m. Her body was brought to the USCG Station-Merrimack River in Newburyport, where the medical examiner identified the body as that of the driver of the car found on the bridge.

Massachusetts State Police said their investigation into the cause and manner of the woman’s death is ongoing, and did not disclose her identity.

If you feel you or someone you know may be in crisis call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline by dialing 988, New Hampshire Rapid Response at 833-710-6477 and or the Portsmouth Regional Hospital crisis-suicide hotline at 603-433-5370.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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