Krista Dittmeyer had mysteriously vanished – leaving her car and her baby behind

By Sara Hammel
Updated April 27, 2011 07:00 PM
Credit: Conway Police/AP

Authorities have found the body of a Maine mother, who had disappeared and left behind her baby inside a car with the engine running and hazard lights blinking.

The body of Krista Dittmeyer, 20, was retrieved Wednesday from a pond near the New Hampshire ski resort parking lot where her Nissan Sentra was discovered Saturday. Her 14-month-old daughter was unharmed and is now with family members.

“We are treating this as a suspicious death,” says New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Jane Young.

Police had been baffled by the case, saying they didn’t believe the young mom willingly abandoned her baby or disappeared on her own accord. Conway, N.H., police Lt. Chris Perley says there’s no indication Dittmeyer was suicidal or suffering from a mental illness.

Perley also said police had no witnesses and the resort had no surveillance video. Authorities won’t discuss whether they have brought anyone in for questioning or if they have a person of interest in the case.

The Portland Press Herald reports the father of Dittmeyer’s baby, Aliyah, is not a suspect because he was not in the area. The two do not live together, according to police.

Dittmeyer’s friends and family had posted missing-person signs around New Hampshire and Maine, and her family offered a $3,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts.

Her mother, LaNelle Shackley, last spoke to Krista on Friday night and says that everything sounded “normal.” She made a national appeal for her daughter’s return on NBC s Today show, asking that “Whoever has her just please drop her off wherever. Let her be found please, just let her be found.”