Family identifies individual found dead in vehicle in Watertown

WATERTOWN (WITI) -- The Watertown Police and Fire Departments were called to a parking lot at 607 S. Church Street around 9:03 a.m. Friday, May 30th regarding an unresponsive individual found in a vehicle.

According to officials, efforts to revive 28-year-old, Heather Stewart, were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Stewart went missing Wednesday night, May 28th as she was supposed to go to work, but never showed up at Rodger Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc. Friends and family had been searching for her ever since.

"Her work said she called on her way and said she be 10 minutes late. She had to go get gas," said Michelle Bautista, friend of the victim.

Stewart never made it to Rodgers Hospital for work Wednesday night.

"All we could do was follow her route to work and back over and over again. We looked around Watertown. We went to her apartment. We talked to neighbors. We did everything we could with the detectives to help out," said Bautista.

With no signs of Stewart, Bautista, her best friend since 4th grade, was at a loss until Friday morning.

"A mutual friend of Heather's and I, she was going to McDonald's over here and she happened to see a suspicious car parked in an empty parking lot," said Bautista.

Bautista described Stewart's car to her friend, and moment later...

"She came right over here and saw Heather dead in the car," said Bautista.

Watertown Police began their investigation at the vacant parking lot at the former Pick and Save on Church Street around 9:00 a.m. in the morning.

"It doesn't make sense. There's no explanation," said Bautista.

Around 1:30 p.m. as police continue to investigate, Stewart's mother shows up, and is immediately met and comforted by Bautista and others.

"You know she's got 4 kids. Her family loves her kids. I know they'll be well taken care of. But for now all we can do is just pray and try to figure out what happened," said Bautista.

In the mean time, Bautista and everyone else close to Stewart will have to deal with a situation that have given them very few answers."

"It's going to be rough. You know I used to talk to her all the time. And I'm so sorry I wasn't there. I wish I would have been able to do something for her. Like I said, we're just going to pray," said Bautista.

The Watertown Police Department is conducting an active death investigation in cooperation with the Dodge County Sheriff's Department, Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and the Jefferson County Coroner's Office.

The Watertown Police Department also requested the assistance of the Wisconsin Crime Laboratory at the scene of the death.

No further information concerning the investigation or circumstances surrounding the death is available at this time and an autopsy is pending.

Police have only confirmed that a dead body was in found in the parking lot. Meanwhile, FOX6 is told Stewart's family will take care of her children.