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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/SPENCER TIREY Northwest Medical Center in Springdale.

SPRINGDALE -- The Arkansas State Crime Lab identified Christy Nichols, 45, of Noel, Mo., as the woman found dead in a car in Northwest Medical Center's parking lot, according to police.

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Christy Nichols, 45, of Noel, Mo.

Nichols' family reported her missing Aug. 6 to the Noel Marshal's Office. Bentonville Police Department joined the investigation Aug. 31. She was last seen alive Aug. 6 at the Catalyst Church in Bentonville, according to a news release from Bentonville Police.

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The cause and manner of death is under investigation. Nichols' body didn't have any obvious signs of trauma when it was found Sept. 13, according to a Springdale Police news release.

"It is believed the body and car had been there for some time," according to the news release.

Hospital staff called police about a possible unattended death at 11:10 a.m. Sept. 13. A body was buckled in the driver's seat of a black 2008 Mazda in the hospital's southwest parking lot.

Nichols' body was decomposed to the point no photo or family would have been able to make a positive identification, Lt. Jeff Taylor said.

Hospital spokeswoman Christina Bull said last week she couldn't speak about the incident and why the car wasn't noticed sooner.

"Northwest Health recognizes that security and safety are both important for quality healthcare. We have security measures in place to support a safe and secure environment for our patients, visitors and staff," Bull said. "Security officers are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Officers do foot patrols of the buildings and grounds. Security also limits access to the buildings at night and on weekends."

NW News on 09/23/2017

Print Headline: Woman found dead in Springdale hospital lot identified

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