Woman found dead in Watauga County creek identified

Highway Patrol is investigating after a woman's body was found in a creek near where her car crashed Wednesday afternoon.

According to North Carolina State Highway Patrol in Boone, fire and rescue crews discovered a running car with heat still running inside about 1 p.m. on Highway 194 North and Brookshire Road. They searched the area for the driver, but were unable to find anyone. About 6 p.m. crews found the body in a creek 200 feet from the area of the crash.

Investigators say the car went down an embankment and through some trees, but was not heavily damaged.They say the woman was not ejected from the vehicle. 

The cause of the accident is believed to be weather related with the snow. The woman has been identified as 71-year-old Linda Reece Osborne. 

Officials say the woman may have tried to walk from the accident and may have gotten into the creek and died from the snow and cold temperatures. 

An autopsy is expected to be performed to determine cause of death.