Slidell woman's family suspects foul play - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Slidell woman's family suspects foul play

Crystal Friedman's car Crystal Friedman's car

SLIDELL, La. - A Slidell mother, missing for a week, is discovered submerged in her car in a body of water near Lakeshore Estates. While Crystal Friedman's family says they're happy to have closure, they question whether foul play was involved.

Crystal Friedman's family is trying to understand how she ended up in the water near Lakeshore Estates. Her sister, Trina says, "She was a loving mother, she was my best friend and she was a great girl."

The mother of a 3-year-old boy was last seen Sunday, Dec. 8. She watched the Saints game at a Slidell bar. Later, a surveillance camera captured her at a gas station on Highway 11. Then, she disappeared.

St. Tammany Sheriff Jack Strain says, "This is not the outcome we had wished for and prayed for with the family."

Strain says tire tracks show Friedman tried to brake before her car went into the water. "We believe at this point it was a potential - just got turned around and was at the wrong place and we think she was trying to go to the apartment complex just south of here and didn't realize she was on the wrong road," Strain said.

Friedman's sister says she was very familiar with these roads, and doesn't see how Crystal could've gotten so mixed up. Trina Friedman says, "They live right down the street over there. She would've never come down this road and she definitely would not have been speeding without a seatbelt."

Trina Friedman wonders if foul play was involved. Sheriff Strain says at this point, it appears to be an accident, but there will be a full investigation.

"We will bring the car to our lab, and we'll process it," he said. "We'll work with the coroner to identify any potential foul play. Very early, it appears that there was no foul play."

Friedman's family says the discovery of her body brings some closure.

"It's horrible, it's horrible, but I'd rather it be like this than her lost somewhere or being abducted or something really bad. So our families just been devastated," said Trina Friedman.

But the family says they won't rest until they know the full truth. The St. Tammany Parish coroner will conduct an autopsy, which will help determine Friedman's cause of death.

Friedman's best friend is the one who helped divers find her body Monday. Her family has been searching non-stop since she disappeared and Monday, their search efforts focused on the water near Lakeshore Estates.

According to Trina Friedman, the best friend saw a reflection of light on the water, which ended up being Crystal's car.

According to the St. Tammany Parish Coroner's Office, Friedman's death was ruled as an accident and she died of asphyxiation caused by drowning. Results from a toxicology test are pending. 

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