Missing woman found dead in her car

Wrecked vehicle discovered Wednesday morning off Greensprings Highway

By John Darling
For the Tidings

Posted Jan. 20, 2016 at 4:36 PM
Updated Jan 20, 2016 at 5:16 PM

Retired nurse Janis Bronson, missing from her home by Emigrant Lake since late Sunday night, was found dead in her car Wednesday morning near the 10-mile post of Highway 66.
Family members found the car about 300 yards down an embankment, where it apparently struck a tree, suffered extensive front-end damage and ended up upside-down in tiny Soda Creek, said Jackson County Sheriff Detective Gabe Burchfiel, who was in charge of the search.
Bronson, 64, was last seen about 10 p.m. Sunday. On Monday, she was reported missing with her car and purse, but uncharacteristically left her phone and computer behind, said her brother Craig Rasmussen.
The vehicle, a 2004 Honda CRV, “failed to negotiate a curve” and went off the downhill side of Greensprings Highway while headed west, said a news release from Oregon State Police, which is handling the crash. It said she was wearing a seatbelt. The crash was about three miles up from Buckhorn Road intersection. She lived with her husband not far from that intersection. There was no guardrail at the spot and no sign of skidmarks from braking.
Burchfiel said there were no immediate signs of weapons, drugs, suicide or foul play, but an investigation will be conducted and a report released later.
She was found by her husband, Jim Bronson, and his son. Responding to news reports, many friends came out to join the search of back roads, said Rasmussen, who was in an airplane scanning the mountainous countryside at the time.
Burchfiel said law enforcement has no immediate idea how long the woman had been dead. The vehicle was not visible from the road, thus delaying immediate discovery, he said.
“There is nothing to indicate this crash was intentional,” said Rasmussen. “It was clear the car went off the road on a tight curve, going downhill.”
John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at [email protected].

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