Co-workers seek help for funeral costs of missing Dayton woman found in Buck Creek lake

Ohio Highway Patrol officers, as well as Clark County Sheriff’s deputies, were on the scene at the Buck Creek State Park boat ramp on Thursday, searching for a missing woman from Dayton. Bill Lackey/Staff
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Ohio Highway Patrol officers, as well as Clark County Sheriff’s deputies, were on the scene at the Buck Creek State Park boat ramp on Thursday, searching for a missing woman from Dayton. Bill Lackey/Staff

Co-workers of a woman whose body was found in a lake at Buck Creek State Park last week have set up a GoFundMe to help pay for her funeral expenses.

LaTricia Bass-Jefferies, 43, of Dayton was last seen on Jan. 18 after bringing a friend to Springfield.

A GoFundMe for Bass-Jefferies’ burial was set up by her co-workers on Thursday, according to the fundraiser’s bio.

“We, as her work family, has come together to create this site to help her family bury this wonderful soul that we all say was, ‘the life of the party,’ no matter where she went,” the bio says.

The bio goes on to say: “She brightened many lives with her smile, loudness, energetic and beautiful ways. She was no stranger to anyone as she treated them like she knew them for a lifetime. She would do anything for anyone.”

As of Thursday afternoon, the GoFundMe titled “A Lively Spirit” has raised $433 of its $5,000 goal.

How Bass-Jefferies ended up in the lake is expected to remain a mystery for weeks.

Autopsy results will not available for another six to eight weeks, the Clark County Coroner’s Office said. The time frame is standard for autopsy results, according to the office.

Bass-Jefferies was reported missing Jan. 21.

After a nearly two-day search at Buck Creek State Park, the Clark County Coroner’s Office confirmed Bass-Jefferies’ body was found in the lake Friday. The car she was driving when she was last seen was found in the lake the day before.

Here’s what else we know about the Bass-Jefferies case:

Read more: Missing Dayton woman’s body recovered at Buck Creek State Park; current evidence shows no foul play

—Bass-Jefferies was confirmed as the body found in the lake at Buck Creek State Park on Friday, Jan. 24

The Clark County Coroner’s Office confirmed the body found in the lake at Buck Creek State Park was that of Bass-Jefferies.

The car she was driving when she was last seen was also found in the lake on Thursday afternoon.

Law enforcement started searching the lake Thursday morning because Bass-Jefferies’ cell phone last pinged in that location, Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Brian Aller said last week. Aller said they spotted the car under the water and ice using a helicopter.

Bass-Jefferies’ body was found “several hundred yards” from where crews were looking, Aller said.

—The investigation spans multiple agencies

The Clark County Coroner’s Office is investigating Bass-Jefferies’ cause and manner of death. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the incident, Aller said.

—Investigators said they do not suspect foul play

Aller said on Friday that investigators do not suspect foul play based on the evidence they had at that time.

It looks like the car ended up in the water because of a traffic crash, he said.

“But we will look at all different types of evidence that we have right now to see if it’s anything else,” Aller said.

—The last known person to see Bass-Jefferies said she appeared “stressed”

She “seemed stressed,” said Natalie Driscoll, of Springfield, who is believed to be the last person known to have seen Bass-Jefferies before she went missing. Bass-Jefferies drove Driscoll from Dayton to Springfield on Jan. 18, Driscoll told the Springfield News-Sun.

After Bass-Jefferies dropped Driscoll off in Springfield, Driscoll said she tried to call and text her to make sure she was OK.

“When I did, the phone just rang and rang and no one answered and she didn’t respond to my text messages,” Driscoll said. “I didn’t think anything about it … She had plans to go to a male friend’s house in Dayton. I thought maybe she just got caught up with that.”

Driscoll said she knew something was wrong when Bass-Jefferies’ sister called her on Tuesday, Jan. 21, asking if she had heard from her.

Since then, Driscoll described the search for her friend as a “living nightmare.”

Read more: Missing woman appeared ‘stressed’ says woman who last saw her