ROSTRAVER (KDKA) — A missing woman from Washington County was found dead early this morning inside a vehicle parked in parking lot in Westmoreland County.

According to the Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office, Murphy Hickerson’s body was discovered just before 6 a.m. in the Gabriel Brother’s parking lot on Findley Road in Rostraver Township.

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Officials say the manager of the store noticed the 2009 Honda CRV in the parking lot and found her laying in the backseat.

Hickerson, 43, disappeared on April 28. She lived with her mother in Canonsburg. The search effort, led by Canonsburg Police, reached across the country.

“We have just felt not only grateful, but covered by all of this love and it’s just been tremendous,” Dolores said.

Her family voiced concerns over her well-being because Hickerson was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was 4-years-old and had received a new pancreas and kidney last year.

She had been on anti-rejection drugs and she did not have the medication with her when she disappeared.

Hickerson struggled with depression and medical problems her whole life, but through it all, her family said she had a heart of gold.

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“Murphy was the most giving and caring person I have ever known,” Dolores Hickerson, her mother, said.

Hickerson graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Language Studies and a minor in Religion. She also had a master’s of divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Her mother says that she is grieving but glad her daughter is finally at peace.

“I would much rather that we had another ending, but I am grateful for her life because she was a giving person, a caring person all of her life.”

An autopsy is being done this afternoon to determine how she died. The coroner’s office reports that the vehicle Hickerson was found in is registered to her mother.

The coroner said the car was secured, and Hickerson had possible been there for at least a week.

Stay with KDKA for the latest details.

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