Fort Worth

Body Found Inside Car Identified as Missing Fort Worth Grandmother

Carolyn Riggins disappeared after winning a bingo jackpot; cause of death not yet confirmed

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What to Know

  • Woman reported missing in July
  • Car found in remote Cooke County with a body inside
  • Medical examiner confirmed identity Thursday, police say

The body of a woman found in a car in rural Cooke County this week has been positively identified as a Fort Worth grandmother missing since July, police say.

Fort Worth police said the Dallas County Medical Examiner confirmed the remains found were those of 69-year-old Carolyn Riggins, a woman who vanished after she won a jackpot at a Watauga bingo hall on July 11.

A cause of death has not yet been revealed.

Riggins' family had been searching for both her and her missing car, a 2002 tan Lincoln Town Car, ever since her disappearance.

Police said a license plate reader logged the car on Interstate 35 in Denton heading north at about 5:30 a.m. the day after she disappeared. But searches in the area turned up nothing.

Hunters found the vehicle Saturday in a wooded area, police said.

Riggins' sister Kimberly Haynes said the family believes she was the victim of foul play and would do its own autopsy and hire a private detective to search her car

"While it may seem like we're grasping, there are too many things that happened that are just too bizarre," Haynes said.

Haynes added that police told the family there were no obvious signs that Riggins was murdered and that some cash was found inside her car, suggesting she was not the victim of a robbery.

Family photo
Carolyn Riggins, pictured

Riggins' family issued the following statement on Monday.

"We would like to thank everyone who has followed finding Carolyn and prayed for us along the way. To those of you who searched with us, put out fliers, donated time, money, snacks, supplies and effort, we thank you. To those of you who wanted to do something but couldn’t, we felt your hearts and we know that you were with us in our search, our hopes, our sorrows. We are hurting now but the healing can begin now.

"We await positive identification, but part of us already knows... we get to lay my sweet sister to rest now. We get to commend her sweet soul to heaven."

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