Police identify owner of car found burned with skeletal remains inside as Gwendolyn Belcher, who was reported missing on September 16

4:27 PM, Sep 17, 2012   |    comments
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  • Gwendolyn Patricia Belcher
    

Thonotosassa, Florida -- Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies say the owner of the car found burned with remains inside is a woman who's been missing since Sunday.

Authorities say the vehicle was found in the area of Taylor and Pruett roads with skeletal remains inside around 6:30 p.m. Hillsborough County detectives say the owner of the black Nissan Maxima is 43-year-old Gwendolyn Patricia Belcher. However, it is not known at this time if the remains found inside the car are Belcher's.

The sheriff's office says Belcher was reported missing by a family member on Sept. 16. While investigating her disappearance, deputies learned from family members Gwendolyn and her husband, Christopher, had gotten into a fight after he came home from a birthday party Saturday night. During the fight, it was revealed he had slapped her in the face.

Once deputies learned of this incident, they arrested Christopher for Domestic Violence around 3 o'clock Monday morning.

"How could somebody do such a thing to a person who is so sweet, so kind, so loving?" said Debra Jelks, Gwendolyn Belcher's sister.

Until the Medical Examiner's Office can determine whether the remains are male or female and if they are Gwendolyn's they are still actively looking for her.

She is described as a black female, 5'1", 173 pounds, with a medium build, black shoulder length hair with brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, black spandex pants and black and gold sandals.

Her family, who tells 10 News they often call her "Tissy," describes her as a kind woman with a big heart.

They say she has three kids.

"It was totally unexpected.  I mean you don't see something like this coming," Jelks said.

Christopher Belcher has been charged with domestic violence multiple times in the past.

As of Monday evening, he was being held at the Hillsborough County jail without bond.

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