February 13, 2019 7:00 am
Updated: February 18, 2019 2:22 pm

Small Manitoba community shaken after body of missing woman found

WATCH: While the cause of Maria Pluschnik's death is still under investigation, members of the community have come together to grieve the loss.


A small community southwest of Winnipeg is struggling after RCMP confirmed on Tuesday that a missing 25-year-old woman has been found dead.

The body of Maria Pluschnik was found in the rural municipality of Stanley Monday afternoon, less than a week after she was last seen.

READ MORE: RCMP confirms body of missing woman found near Schanzenfeld

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Elissa Polkowski, a friend of Pluschnik, described her as a kind person.

“She was was always a great friend,” Polkowski told Global News via Facebook. “She’s the kind of friend that when I needed someone she always was there for me.”

She also said Pluschnik spent a lot of time talking about her family.

“She loved her family so much.”

READ MORE: Missing Winnipeg woman last seen in early January

Even those who haven’t met Pluschnik are shaken.

“We were obviously kind of shocked,” said Leah Elias, a music teacher at Valley Mennonite Academy.

Elias said students had asked to pray for Pluschnik and her loved ones in class.

“There have been prayer requests for the girl that went missing — first of all, before we knew that she had been found, just that she would be found safely and that she’d be alive,” she said.

“Then after she was found, for the family.”

The area near the intersection of Road 22 West and Road 8 North in the RM of Stanley.

Alison MacKinnon/Global News

Pluschnik was last seen ‪Thursday driving her green Dodge Caliber. The temperature was about -25 C that night.

RCMP found her vehicle abandoned in a snowbank three days later.

READ MORE: Winnipeg family desperate for answers as police search for missing man

‪On Monday, Pluschnik’s body was found about three kilometers from where her car was discovered.‬

An autopsy had not yet been performed, but there were no obvious signs of foul play on the body, according to police.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Pluschnik’s funeral.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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