The body of Megan Wheeler was found about 2 miles north of the city where her life was starting to look up, a friend said.
Passers-by saw the body of the 32-year-old from Harrisonville on Sunday morning in a ditch alongside Interstate 49 and Peculiar Drive. Police announced Tuesday that Wheeler was believed to be walking home on Peculiar Drive when she was struck by a vehicle.
TheCass County sheriff’s department said investigators are searching for a 1994-2002 Dodge truck that could have been involved in Wheeler’s death. They are seeking a truck with damage to the front passenger area. The model is uncertain but may be a 1500, 2500 or 3500.
“The injuries we’re looking at are consistent with that of someone being struck by a vehicle,” said Lt. Kevin Tieman with the sheriff’s department.
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Tieman added investigators received more than a dozen tips Monday via the TIPS Hotline and have worked about 50 leads in the case.
Wheeler was a mother of four — two boys and two girls. On Sept. 15, she updated her cover photo on Facebook with a picture of her and her fiance kissing as her children stood around the couple, covering their eyes with their hands.
Nadia Bohnert, a Harrisonville photographer who said she was a close friend of Wheeler’s, spoke with her last week.
Wheeler had contacted the photographer to ask about rates for wedding pictures. Wheeler had become engaged earlier this year, Bohnert said.
“She was talking like she was as happy as can be,” Bohnert said.
In 2014, Wheeler and her husband divorced, Bohnert said, and Bohnert recalled how she and Wheeler exchanged many text messages, revealing to Bohnert how distressed the single mother was.
But this year, things seemed to be coming together, Bohnert said.
“She was trying to get her life back together,” Bohnert said. “She was getting married, and it seemed like everything was OK.
“She was happy. That’s the thing.”
The sheriff’s department is asking anyone with information about the case or vehicle to contact the TIPS Hotline, 816-474-TIPS (8477).