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Mashpee woman missing since January found dead near Arizona highway

A college student from Mashpee, missing since January, was found dead Saturday afternoon after she apparently crashed her car along a mountainous Arizona highway, authorities and her family said.

A hiker spotted the wreck off Interstate 17, about 25 miles south of Flagstaff, said Becky Smith, a dispatcher for the Arizona Highway Patrol. Inside, they found the remains of 21-year-old Jessica L. Ronhock.

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“It was a traffic accident,” Smith said. “There is a little canyon, and her vehicle rolled multiple times.”

Authorities do not know when the accident occured, Smith said. She said it did not appear that other cars were involved, or that there were more people in the vehicle.

Ronhock, a third-year nursing student at Elmira College in upstate New York, last contacted her parents Jan. 18 from Arizona, said her father, Michael Ronhock. She was reported missing the next day, according to the Associated Press.

“From the 18th on, no one was in contact with her, no one knew where she was,” Michael Ronhock said. “She was just traveling. It’s just an unfortunate accident.”

A Mashpee High School graduate, Jessica Ronhock was a three-letter athlete who was committed to helping people and serving her country through her college’s ROTC program, her father said.

“We want everyone to know what beautiful girl Jessie was, and how hard she worked,” said her mother, Teresa Ronhock. “We knew that she would contact us if she could.”

Matt Byrne can be reached at mbyrne.globe@gmail.com.

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