Body identified as missing Tacoma woman; foul play suspected in her death

Ginger Gover (Pierce County Sheriff's Department Photo)

PUYALLUP, Wash. -- A body discovered in South Hill last week has been identified as woman who had been missing since late July, Pierce County Sheriff's deputies said, and her death is being investigated as a homicide.

Ginger Gover, 41, was last seen at the Chevron gas station on 112th and Canyon Road in Tacoma on July 29.

"Ginger was a very sweet girl, she loved everybody," said her father Wayne Phillips. "She was into all kinds of things: Rock collecting. Antiques. Always if you needed something she'd give you the shirt off of her back."

Gover was driving from downtown Tacoma to visit some friends in Eatonville when she had to stop at the Chevron gas station to fix a flat tire, according to the Sheriff's Office. She called her friend at 10:20 a.m. to notify of the delay. Her other friend reportedly met Gover at the Chevron and helped her change the tire, and said that Gover drove away after to meet her friend in Eatonville.

She never arrived at her friend’s house in Eatonville.

On Aug. 6, Gover’s car was found abandoned in a warehouse complex on Valley Ave. Northwest in Puyallup. The vehicle was stripped and likely dumped off a trailer in the early morning hours on Aug. 4, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

Her body was found last Friday by construction workers building a new road.

The family says as sad as it is, the news at least confirmed their fears.

"We know where she is now," said her mother Ingrid Phillips. " What are the chances somebody breaks a road through and finds a body? It could have been years like some of these other people."

The exact cause of death has not been determined, but detectives are suspecting foul play and the death is being treated as a homicide.

"We believe she ran into foul play," said Det. Ed Troyer with the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. "What led up to her death is still under investigation. We are trying to backtrack her whereabouts like we have been when we found her car stripped out and abandoned."

Meanwhile, as police continue their investigation, her family says they will have a private service for Ginger.

"What we want out of all of this is justice," Ingrid Phillips said.

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