Missing Arkansas Woman's Car Found Torched, Police Suggest Foul Play

The torched car of missing Arkansas police dispatcher Dawna Natzke was recovered, but she has yet to be found.

Natzke, 46, was reported missing by her son on Dec. 23, two days after her boyfriend told police he left her alone watching television and went to bed around 11 p.m. and hadn’t seen her since. Earlier, she had returned from a friend’s Christmas party.

Her 1997 Ford Escort was discovered in a remote part of the Oauchita national forest. Natzke is still nowhere to be found.

"The sheer fact that the victim's vehicle was found a distance from her residence, burned, at least suggests that somebody wants to cover up potential forensic evidence that might be inside that would ultimately identify perhaps someone who has harmed her," said FBI expert Brad Garrett to ABC News.

Police are being criticized for not searching the area where the car was found sooner. Natzke was reported missing Dec. 23, and her car was reported torched Dec.24.

Police began searching on Dec. 25. Authorities said it takes some time to secure dog teams, which meant a delay in beginning the search efforts.

"She's family, and we're doing everything we can do to find her," said Lt. Ricky Middleton of the Hot Springs Village police.

State crime scene investigators plan to hold a full forensic analysis for any clues in the torched vehicle.

Natzke worked at the Hot Springs Village police department for six years, which handled security for the Hot Springs Village gated community where she lived.

Neighbors like Hella Cass were unsure why police did not have dog teams sniff around for Natzke for one more day, while residents are trying to scour the forest to find clues of her whereabouts themselves.

“She's a fantastic mother her children are better behaved than most teenagers you meet and that's really from my heart,” Cass told KATV station.

Dawna Natzke is a mother of three and has been missing since Dec. 21.