Sarasota County Sheriff’s officials believe they have found the body of a missing Venice mother.
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and North Port Police Department, assisted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Venice Police, located a green Nissan Xterra in a large pond in the Toscana Isles subdivision in Venice, close to Knights Trail, at approximately 11:45 a.m. Saturday.
“Inside the vehicle was a deceased female, believed to be that of Tracey Lynn Rieker, 44, missing from her Venice home since Sept. 30,” states the press release. Her family has been notified.
Authorities were investigating it as a traffic homicide Saturday while working to determine Rieker’s cause of death.
Rieker left home Sept. 30 with no purse, phone or money. Her husband, Christian, said they had been home a lot as a family since COVID-19 hit in March. Rieker, who had asthma and other breathing problems as a child, was increasingly more consumed by the impact of the virus. She sometimes linked it to end-of-the-world thoughts. Christian said Rieker may have been suffering a mental health breakdown. She talked about God much more before her disappearance.
“She just wasn’t herself,” Christian said earlier this month. “She had been up for a couple of days. She said she didn’t want to celebrate Halloween or Christmas this year. Our daughter was born on Halloween. She said she was getting rid of the Halloween decorations and the tree.”
Rieker is survived by her husband and four children who range in age from 12-19.
“I’m sorry but at this time the candlelight vigil at Sharky’s on Sunday has been canceled,” said Christine Wurst, who was helping with efforts to find Rieker. “We will reschedule for another day when it is appropriate.”