Jessica Newman’s family confirms body of missing woman found in ditch

Above watch: The family of a missing Calgary mother have confirmed to Global News that a body found near Balzac is Jessica Newman. Nancy Hixt reports.

CALGARY – The family of a 24-year-old woman missing since March has confirmed her body was found in a ditch north of Calgary on Monday.

A crew working at a rural location near the hamlet of Balzac made the grisly discovery just before 4 p.m.

Jessica Rae Newman was last seen after working a shift at the Water Grill on March 10. Her coworkers and regulars at the southeast establishment are devastated by the news.

“I just don’t believe someone could do that like that to her…I hope the police are going to get that person very soon,” said Water Grill owner Sam Tat.

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Although police won’t confirm whether or not they believe the remains are hers, her family told Global News on Tuesday that they successfully identified the remains.

Her body has been taken to the Calgary Medical Examiner’s office where an autopsy will be completed to determine the cause of death.

Jessica’s mother says she is extremely distraught and sad that the remains turned out to be her daughter.

“I am looking forward to finding out who’s done this to her,” said a tearful Rhonda Stewart.

“If it’s somebody that she knew and trusted… I’ll be even more hurt.”

Stewart says a detective working on the case called her on Monday night to warn her that the body could be Jessica’s.

“Then I got a phone call from our local police,” said Stewart, who lives in B.C. “They came over just to tell me in person.”

“I thought after her being gone almost eight weeks that I was kind of prepared, until I found out… and then I wasn’t as prepared as I thought.”

Stewart says the hardest part has been telling Jessica’s children about their mother’s death.

“That was horrible… I told the children [Tuesday] morning and they’re taking it pretty well. I kept them home from school and we’ll just spend the day together.”
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Stewart says the whole situation is terrible, and that she feels bad for everyone involved.

“You feel bad for the poor guy who found her, you feel bad for the young policeman that had to come tell me last night, and then all of her family and friends.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help support Newman’s family, and organizers are hoping to secure a venue for a fundraising event at the end of May. More details will be posted on the GoFundMe page here.

With files from Nancy Hixt

Police investigate the discovery of Jessica Newman’s body in a rural ditch on Monday, May 4, 2015. Global News



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