Police: Body of missing woman found in trunk of car in Mayfair

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Police say the body found in the trunk of a car in Philadelphia's Mayfair neighborhood is that of a woman who has been reported missing since last week. (WPVI)

Police say the body found in the trunk of a car in Philadelphia's Mayfair neighborhood is that of a woman who has been reported missing since last week.

Twenty-three-year-old Tinika Ballard was last seen on July 6.

Her white, four-door Chevrolet Cruze was discovered by family members around noon Friday on the 7500 block of Leon Street.

Ballard's decomposed body was found in the trunk of the car, police say.

"I just want them to get her out of that car because she's hot," said Jessie Pittman, victim's mother. "She don't like to be hot, she don't wanna be hot, she wanna get out."

Only 23 years old, Ballard was not yet even in the prime of her life, and the mother of a 3-year-old little girl named MaLae.

"Her daughter's 3, she would never do that, and to have to find her car in eye view, right around the corner, it doesn't make any sense," said Nicole Williams, victim's sister.

After Ballard went missing, her family put out flyers around the neighborhood.
The family filed a missing person's report with police on Monday. Around noon Friday, family members spotted her car.

"I got out and checked the license plate, and as I did, I noticed something coming from the trunk of the car, a bad smell, rotten," said Kiana Pittman, victim's sister. "And then it was my sister."

Police would later confirm it was Ballard's body. They say there were no signs of foul play, but the medical examiner would have to determine the cause and manner of death.

Her mother says her daughter had been depressed, and going through some changes.

"Bad relationship she had and stressing. She lost her apartment, she was getting ready to lose her car, she was gonna lose her phone," said Jessie Pittman. "She couldn't pay nothing, so she was stressed out and she didn't wanna be here no more."

But family members were in disbelief trying to dredge out reasons out of the shadows to explain away the very painful possibility that Ballard may have taken her own life.

"It wasn't her, it wasn't her just to disappear without giving us any kind of contact," said Williams.

But it is all now in the hands of police.

Ballard's car will be carefully examined by investigators, and the medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine if it was a homicide or something different all together.
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