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Missing Peoria woman's body found in corn picker

EDELSTEIN, Ill. — The body of a missing Peoria woman has been found stuck in a farmer's combine in a central Illinois cornfield.

The Journal Star reports the farmer found 24-year-old Tashyra McDowell's body on Tuesday. McDowell was the mother of a 7-year-old autistic son, who was found unattended Monday morning in Peoria. Later that day McDowell's car was found abandoned. Her mother, Twila Rutherford, says she last had contact with her daughter Friday.

McDowell's son is now with Rutherford, who says the boy was her daughter's "pride and joy."

The Peoria County coroner pronounced McDowell dead Tuesday afternoon. It took authorities about two hours to disassemble the eight-row corn picker to remove her body.

An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday and Peoria County authorities are investigating.

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