Woman found dead; it's not considered suspicious
LOCUST GAP - Foul play is not suspected in the death of a 48-year-old Mount Carmel woman found Sunday afternoon outside her parked car in a wooded area off Route 901, about one mile east of Locust Gap.
Rochelle M. Stief was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:55 p.m. by Northumberland County Coroner James F. Kelley.
Police are treating the matter as a death investigation. Mount Carmel Township Police Chief Brian Hollenbush said her death does not appear suspicious.
Kelley is investigating the cause and manner of Stief's death. He said he wished to speak with the woman's family and friends of Stief's as well as her physician before deciding on an autopsy and toxicology report.
"We have to talk to some people to find out what she was doing," Kelley said.
There were no signs of bruising or blood on Stief, and nothing suspicious was found at the scene, Hollenbush said.
Stief was found laying outside her 1999 Pontiac Grand Am by a group of people riding off-road vehicles who contacted police about 4:50 p.m. The vehicle was parked approximately 200 yards from Route 901 and appeared to have been stuck in mud. There was mud smeared on the vehicle's front-end and some splattered on either side.
Stief's body was driven in the coroner's vehicle to Geisinger-Shamokin Area Community Hospital, Coal Township. Police drove the Grand Am closer to Route 901 where Dave's Auto Body towed it away.
Assisting at the scene were Mount Carmel Township Patrolman Daniel Politza, Kulpmont Patrolmen Michael Pitcavage and Joshua Pastucka, Mount Carmel Borough Patrolmen Matthew Dillman and Justin Stelma and Northumberland County Deputy Coroner James R. Gotlob.