Missing Springboro woman found dead

A 50-year-old Springboro High School employee reported missing Thursday was found dead Friday night at a Middletown park.

A police officer found Laura Lynn Howard's body at 11:45 p.m. inside a blue Chrysler van parked at in the parking lot of Bicentennial Commons, 100 S. Carmody Blvd., a Middletown police dispatcher said.

Bicentennial Commons is near the Great Miami River Recreational Trail along the river. The 11-acre park features an overlook, stage, walkway and trail connection to Smith Park.

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The cause of her death is under investigation.

Laura's husband, Eric Howard, said his family wanted to thank Springboro and Middletown police for their work, as well as friends for their thoughts and prayers.

Laura Howard worked in food services at Springboro High School. Spokeswoman Karen Lane DeRosa said the district was shocked by news of Howard's death. She said thoughts and prayers were with her family.

Springboro police Sgt. Eric Abrams said Howard's husband reported her missing at 8:50 p.m. Thursday. She was last seen around 1 p.m. Thursday leaving her Kesling Drive home.

"She never returned home," Abrams said. "He (Eric Howard) just thought it was very unusual."

Howard was a member of the Springboro High School class of 1981. Classmates expressed shock and support on social

Police ask that if anyone can help in the investigation to call investigators at 937-748-0611.