Springfield woman found in crashed car may have died weeks ago

A Springfield woman was found deceased Thursday morning in a car that crashed along Interstate 71 in Delaware County.

Chelsea Marie Dowler, 27, was found in a 1993 Dodge Dakota, which traveled off the roadway and struck a tree before coming to rest in a cornfield in Kingston Twp., according to the Delaware Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

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The wreck was found by a crew picking up debris, Lt. Bob Sellers of the highway patrol said Friday, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Dowler had been reported missing, but it’s not clear when the crash happened.

“According to Springfield police, the car was either stolen or taken from the victim’s father without his permission” on either Aug. 20 or Aug. 21, Sellers said.

“It’s a relief to have closure,” Dowler’s mother, Janette Lanum, of Springfield, told The Dispatch on Friday.

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Lanum said her daughter had a drug problem and heroin addiction since at least 2009. Until August she had been doing well for 2½ years and had been getting better after rehab and incarcerations, The Dispatch reported.

“She was always trying to help people,” Lanum said. “She was the sweetest girl I ever knew ... and not just because she was mine.”

Dowler is survived by two sons, ages 6 and 4.

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