PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- Charlotte County Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit detectives closed the investigation today on the death of a woman found inside her car parked in a Wal-Mart parking lot in the Deep Creek area on June 24.
The Medical Examiner’s report said Jennifer Ann Simpson, 27, 20288 Rutherford Ave., Port Charlotte, passed away the night of June 20th or early morning hours of June 21st. That was prior to the initial attempt to locate report filed by CCSO deputies on June 21st at 7:17 p.m. with Simpson’s aunt Elizabeth Hill. A BOLO was issued to the area. A follow-up report was made June 23rd at 3:45 p.m. by a deputy and Hill advised she still had not heard from Simpson.
Due to the stages of decomposition, Simpson had been deceased for approximately four days. There were no findings of any crime being committed and no signs of foul play were located. The cause of death is listed as “undetermined” and MCU detectives said the case is closed as the death was non-criminal.
The report said Simpson left her aunt’s home where she had been staying and the investigation showed she went to a Walgreen’s on Kings Highway about a mile away from Walmart, and purchased a bottle of Absolute Vodka on June 20th at 7:55 p.m. Walgreen’s video of the transaction was provided. Walmart surveillance video shows her white 1996 Volkswagen pull into the parking lot at 8 p.m. in the space where it was found June 24th. Video showed the car never moved. Simpson’s body was found lying on the back seat and the floorboard. All doors were locked except for the rear passenger door. Her car keys were also found in the back seat; the motor had not been running and there was over a half-tank of gas. The Vodka bottle purchased was found in the back seat.
Simpson bought the used VW from C&D Auto Exchange in Cape Coral after moving to Port Charlotte from New York and the car was issued a temporary tag. It wasn’t until June 27th that an employee for auto business told detectives they put a GPS unit on Simpson’s car. They provided detectives with a GPS tracking log that showed when Simpson left home on June 20th at 7:11 p.m. and was consistent with Simpson’s route to the Walmart parking lot. There was no further GPS activity until the car was towed to the CCSO impound yard on June 25th.
The Medical Examiner’s report said toxicology indicated a blood alcohol (ethanol) level of .229 percent but believed that approximately .080 of that was from natural decomposition, which would indicate an actual level of around .150, which is not enough for alcohol poisoning. Based on the position of the body there was not enough evidence to conclude positional asphyxia. Due to the decomposition there was nothing in the throat to indicate suffocation or choking from vomit.