2:45pm: Michelle's family gathers at her grandmother's house in Atlantic City for Thanksgiving
10:00pm: Family sees Dawn for last time
Dawn told Dateline that her mother was last seen by the family two days later, around 10 p.m. on Saturday, November 24, 2001.\`
Michelle's body is found
Two horseback riders discovered the woman's body, nude except for a white bra, lying face-up about six feet off Estell Avenue in the Mizpah section of the township, about a quarter-mile from Route 40. Evidence suggested that she was killed at another location. She suffered trauma to the neck, chest and scalp. She died from aspirating on her vomit.
Location of Michelle's body
Authorities say they believe Michelle was killed in Atlantic City and dumped in the Mizpah area.
According to a statement released by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, the autopsy revealed the cause of death to be “asphyxia associated with aspiration of gastric contents, multiple blunt force injuries of the head, neck and torso.“ He concluded that the “manner of death was homicide.”
Atlantic City Prosecutor's office issue plea for new info in case
“It is my hope that we will be able to find the person(s) responsible for the death of Michelle Howard and give her family the closure they deserve,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner stated in the release.