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Body found in woods amid search for missing Maine teacher

Authorities have not publicly identified the body, but husband Jay Westra said, 'My heart was crushed today.'
Kristin Westra
Kristin WestraCumberland County Sheriff's Office

A body has been found in a wooded area of Maine amid a search for a missing elementary school teacher who is said to have vanisned in the dark of the early morning hours earlier this week.

Capt. Craig Smith of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said it's too early to confirm any possible connection to the case of Kristin Westra, 47. In fact, Smith said he did not know the gender of the deceased. A medical examiner was at the scene, the captain said.

Despite the lack of official information, the woman's husband, Jay Westra, said on Facebook Friday afternoon, "My heart was crushed today."

The discovery, reported at 10:30 a.m., was made about a half mile from the couple's home in North Yarmouth, Maine, according to NBC News affiliate NECN.

Westra said his wife disappeared after turning in about 8 p.m. Sunday. He said he awoke and noticed she was not in bed at 3:30 a.m. Monday but figured she went to bed in another part of their home after she had experienced some "sleepless nights" recently.

She appeared to have vanished without a phone, keys are wallet, family members told NECN.

When he woke up Monday, Westra noticed his wife was gone and went looking for her before notifying law enforcement, he told NBC News Wednesday.

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Authorities launched multiple searches during the week that included treks through the woods near the Westras' residence. First responders on the case included eight sheriff's detectives, Maine State Police officers, and law enforcers from the Maine Warden Service, authorities said.

"Nearly 50 trained search crews, K9's, ATV’s and drones were used to cover varied terrain that included wetlands, thick forest and open fields," Game Warden Corporal John MacDonald said in a statement Wednesday.

Westra said he's been trying to reassure the couple's two children, a 10-year-old girl and a teenage stepson.

"I told my daughter that sometimes adults have stress or worries or anger and just like she would, sometimes adults need time to think," he said.