HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Henrico County Police confirmed Wednesday the body found in an eastern Henrico cornfield Tuesday afternoon is that of Hope Ann Aheimer.
Police also found her car in the cornfield and are calling the case a death investigation.
The 26-year-old Henrico woman had been reported missing in Richmond and was last seen the night of July 4, leaving Bottoms Up Pizza in Shockoe Bottom where she worked.
Henrico Police responded to a cornfield on New Market Road around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon for a report of a suspicious situation and a vehicle observed in a cornfield.
Crime Insider sources say power crews working nearby found the vehicle.
Officers arrived to the scene and discovered Aheimer's body near the vehicle, which plates matched that of Aheimer.
"Today, The Henrico County Police Division has confirmed that Ms. Aheimer and her vehicle were both located yesterday near New Market Road and Rockingham Street," said Henrico Police in a release. "This incident remains a death investigation as Detectives gather critical tips from you – our community. "
Nick Lewis is one of the managers at Bottoms Up Pizza and knew Aheimer since she started in January. He says she was a good worker and a great person.
"We’re grieving just like everyone else," said Lewis.
"She was very unique in her style of clothing, her style, her choice of how she carried herself and how she was as a person, her personality that made her different from everybody."
Lewis says they’ll always remember the things about Aheimer that made them laugh.
She loved being as bubbly and more to herself as much as she could.
He said the restaurant is working to put something together to benefit her family.
"I just want peace and the grievance for the family. The only thing I want is to make sure that her family is taken care of and that we’re going to do everything we can to make sure we can support them," said Lewis.
Aheimer’s family put out a statement Wednesday afternoon expressing their appreciation for everyone who helped get the word out about her disappearance and to the utility worker that spotted her car in the cornfield and called police.
"The family is very appreciative of the attentive utility worker who saw the car in the cornfield when working on the power lines and promptly called the police to investigate. The family understands that the investigation is still ongoing and would appreciate if anyone with information on Hope Ann’s case please contact the Henrico County Police Department directly to provide that information. The family requests that the public refrain from sharing information about the case on social media.
The family would like to thank extended family members, friends and the public for the postings of prayers and condolences. At this time, please respect the immediate family’s privacy. Finally, the family expresses sincere thanks to the Richmond and Henrico County Police Officers and Detectives who have been working diligently on Hope Ann’s case and continue to work on her case."
Anyone who may have seen or heard anything is asked to contact Detective Ensor at 804-501-5000 or Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.