Authorities believe that the death of a Lyman woman this week is likely accidental, though a final determination is awaiting testing results.
Scotts Bluff County Sheriff Mark Overman released Tuesday identified Cynthia M. Magee, 59, of Lyman, as the woman whose body deputies located a short distance from her car, which had been run off a roadway and into a ravine about 3 miles east of Lyman.
Magee had been reported missing on Monday, at about 9 a.m., according to information previously released by Overman. She had last been seen leaving her workplace in Morrill at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Nov. 10, when another employee saw her vehicle heading south on South Morrill Road.
Deputies began investigating and spoke with family members and a roommate. The missing woman sent a text message to her roommate in the early morning hours saying she was “in a swamp.” The roommate was asleep and didn’t see the message immediately, but called law enforcement, prompting a search by deputies and National Park Service rangers to attempt to locate the woman or her vehicle.
Investigators worked with cellular providers to ascertain a location for the missing woman’s cell phone. All activity from the phone ceased at approximately 3:05 a.m. on Nov. 11.
Deputies requested search assistance from Regional West Medical Center’s Air Link helicopter and the woman’s vehicle was located in a deep drainage ravine and wetland area near East Lyman Road and County Road 6, approximately 3.25 miles east of Lyman. The vehicle was not visible from vehicles on the roadway. The woman’s body was found in about 3 feet of water next to the vehicle.
Overman said that the vehicle itself had not incurred any signification damage and there is no indication of foul play. An autopsy took place Tuesday morning and a pathologist determined that Magee had not suffered any significant injuries from her the vehicle accident.
A final determination of the woman’s death is pending toxicology tests.
In addition to those already mentioned, other agencies assisting included the Nebraska State Patrol and the Lyman Volunteer Fire Department. The Goshen County Sheriff’s Department was also involved in searching its jurisdiction after the woman had been reported missing.