She had been a patient at the West Virginia hospital for three months, but Lisa Thomas was almost impossible to find. Her missing cellphone – she had had it since 2008 – had never been found. She had no family.
In recent months, her caregiver noticed that a piece of paper had been found near Thomas’s body.
“They thought it was something that she may have folded,” said Stephen Lewis, a spokesman for Charleston police.
But over the weekend, investigators determined that the note was “very interesting,” Lewis said. The note described a murder-suicide and a sexual assault.
“This may be salvageable,” he said Monday. “She did leave behind a note,” and the details were pretty much what investigators had “decided in our mind to pursue.”
Police found Thomas’s remains and the notebook at a trash-strewn downtown hotel parking lot on Sunday, and they were now waiting for dental records to be confirmed.
Police have said that the note described an argument that ended with Thomas being strangled. Her boyfriend was identified as the suspect, Lewis said.
Thomas’s family is asking that its privacy be respected, Lewis said.
“Right now the detectives are dealing with this the best they can,” he said. “It’s just really a tragedy.”