Body ID'd as Missing Fitness Instructor

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The body of a woman found in a wooded area Wednesday morning has been identified as missing fitness instructor Susan Loper, Plano police say.

    A Plano police officer found her body near a treeline off John Hickman Parkway and Dallas Parkway in Frisco.

    Friends Call Fitness Instructor's Death "Gutwrenching"

    [DFW] Friends Call Fitness Instructor's Death "Gutwrenching"
    Police have found the body of a missing fitness instructor in a wooded area in Frisco. (Published Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011)

    Her SUV was found abandoned in Plano about a mile and a half from the country club where Loper disappeared. Police located the vehicle near Parker Road and the Dallas North Tollway in Plano at about midnight.

    Loper's best friend said investigators went by Loper's home to obtain DNA samples to compare with the body, which the medical examiner later identified as Loper.

    Susan Loper's Body Found

    [DFW] Susan Loper's Body Found
    Police say a body found this morning in a wooded area of Frisco is a fitness instructor who vanished from a country club in Plano. Susan Loper was reported missing yesterday and investigators say they found signs of a struggle at the Gleneagles Country Club fitness room. (Published Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011)

    Police said they interviewing lots of people in the case but do not yet have any suspects or warrants.

    Loper's 8-year-old son is with his father and grandparents.

    Police Search for Missing Plano Fitness Instructor

    [DFW] Police Search for Missing Plano Fitness Instructor
    Police say Susan Loper, a 40-year-old single mother and Pilates instructor, disappeared from Glen Eagles Country Club. (Published Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011)

    Marla Malone, a friend of Loper, said her death is "gutwrenching.'

    "I mean, we're angry. We're sad. We don't know how to function without her. We really don't; she was our light," said Julie Mitchell, another friend.

    Investigators said evidence in the vehicle indicated that Loper, 40, had been abducted and that a struggle had taken place both in the car and in the club -- but they didn't specify what evidence they found.

    Loper arrived at the Glen Eagles Country Club in Plano early Tuesday and disappeared before her first appointment at 5:45 a.m.

    Police found her purse, cellphone and coffee cup inside the club, but she and her 2010 Toyota RAV4 were missing. Investigators said signs of a struggle indicated early on that Loper may have been a victim of foul play.

    NBC DFW's Ashanti Blaize, Randy McIlwain and Ellen Goldberg contributed to this report.