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Missing woman's death considered suspicious

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GRAIN VALLEY, MO (KCTV) -

A missing woman's body stayed hidden in plain sight for nearly two months before a passerby spotted her body this weekend.

Authorities have identified the woman as Amber Bradley-Couch, 28. The cause of death is pending, but it is considered suspicious.

Bradley-Couch was last seen at the Whiskey Tango bar in Grain Valley in January.

Police have been investigating the circumstances of her disappearance ever since.

"She did arrive at the bar in the evening," Grain Valley Assistant Police Chief David Starbuck said Monday. "She was there several hours, and when she left she was reported missing and never heard from again."

An unnamed man spotted Bradley-Couch's body while he was walking his dog Saturday afternoon. The body was at the bottom of a steep hill just a few feet from the back of a steel manufacturing plant where Randy Stanton works every day.

"There's not enough room back there to do anything so we never come around," Stanton said. "That was such a shock, to basically find out she had been right outside our door for so long."

Stanton wasn't alone. The body was within 200 yards of the Grain Valley Police Station and a busy park. The bar where she was last seen was also less than a quarter mile away.

But police believe heavy snow in January and February, coupled with the thick brush at the bottom of the steep hill, kept her body concealed.

"It would be very infrequent to have anybody even walk by there," Starbuck explained. "Not visible from the street or anywhere else."

He also said the death had not been ruled a homicide. But many of the circumstances of her death, including the location of her body, are suspicious. And investigators will not rule out any possibilities until they receive a complete autopsy and toxicology report.

"We're certainly looking into the possibility of foul play and any other cause of death," Starbuck said. "So it's still open and very actively being investigated."

Completing an autopsy including getting blood results will take up to two months.

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