The Macomb County medical examiner is expected to perform an autopsy Monday on the body of a 22-year-old woman found dead Saturday morning in Richmond Township.
Samantha Ward of Columbus Township was found around 9 a.m. Saturday morning on the sidewalk outside a Rite Aid pharmacy by the store’s employees. The previous evening, Ward had been part of a large group of friends gathered at JJ Knapp’s Tavern on Gratiot Avenue.
Ward and a friend left the tavern after 1 a.m. for the short walk to a home nearby where they were staying. She left without wearing a coat, hat or gloves even though temperatures were in single digits with wind chills pushing them below zero.
At some point during the walk home, she and her companion parted ways.
“One wanted to go through a snowy path behind some building and (Ward) preferred not to,” said Richmond Police Chief David Teske. “That was the last time (the friend) saw her.”
Investigators found no signs of violence or readily apparent injuries. Ward was also not robbed, Teske said, leaving many questions unanswered.
“We’ll have to wait and see,” he said. “Hopefully, the medical examiner will be able to tell us more.”