Body of woman found in river 6 years after disappearance


SALEM, N.J. (CNN) — “Complete and total hell.”

That’s how the family of Vanessa Smallwood described the last six years since she disappeared.

She was last seen outside of a Cherry Hill cleaners.

Jenuita Lobster said Vanessa was her favorite cousin, and she was loved by many.

“Vanessa was a very small sweetheart,” Lobster said. “Vanessa was very caring especially when it came to family and her boys.”

On Thursday, divers cleaning debris from the bottom of the Salem River spotted something unusual.

Around noon, New Jersey state police recovered Vanessa’s body in a submerged car in the area of West Broadway Road.

“Now that we know that yes Vanessa is indeed no longer on this side with us, we’re OK,” Lobster said.

As the investigation continues into how Vanessa ended up at the bottom of a river, the family is hoping for those answers quickly.

“Now comes the hard part, finding out the details,” Lobster said.

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