Results of an autopsy performed Friday in Erie on Shelly Misinay show she died of hypothermia and her death was ruled a suicide.

The body of the 41-year-old mother of two who had been missing since Valentine's Day was found in a Hermitage cemetery near her home on Thursday morning by her brother-in-law.

The search for her ended at about 11 a.m. Thursday in a secluded corner of Temple Beth Israel Cemetery in Hermitage, less than two blocks from her home.

“Our fears had come true,” Mrs. Misinay’s brother-in-law, Don Blackshear of Brookfield, said after he found her body at the cemetery.

She was wearing pajamas and a coat, curled up beneath shrubbery near one of two upright tombstones in that section of the cemetery, about a 10-minute walk from her 605 Park Ave. home.

Mrs. Misinay was pronounced dead at 11:55 a.m. in the cemetery by Mercer County Coroner J. Bradley McGonigle III.

The manner and cause of her death will be probed today during an autopsy and toxicology tests by Erie pathologist Dr. Eric Vey, McGonigle said.

The results of those tests, which were unavailable as of late Friday afternoon, will determine whether this becomes a criminal matter, said Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Chief Riley Smoot and Hermitage Deputy Chief Ed Holiga. Because Mrs. Misinay’s body was found in Hermitage, that city’s police force will handle the majority of any future probe, Smoot said.

“There’s still more to this story that we don’t know,” Blackshear said, adding that he’s saddened for his family’s loss.

Blackshear had been searching for his wife’s sister since she vanished, while authorities probed her laptop computer and pursued leads. A reward fund had been set up by friends and family to help gather information on her whereabouts.

On Wednesday night, about 100 people attended a prayer vigil at Mrs. Misinay’s church, Church of Notre Dame in Hermitage.

“Give me a sign somewhere,” Blackshear said he prayed then.

He said he felt an urge to search the cemetery because it was along the most direct route from the Misinay home to the home of her mother, Bernice Stanton, who lives on Keiffer Drive in Farrell.

“She’s trying to get to her mother’s,” he said he had been thinking over and over in his mind.

Tucked behind St. Stanislaus Cemetery, the plots in that section of the temple’s cemetery are secluded. The driveway to the cemetery isn’t plowed in winter unless there’s a burial and there hasn’t been one for several months, said Temple Beth Israel Cemetery committee’s acting chairman Alan Nathan.

Covered with melting snow on Thursday, the cemetery’s driveway and grounds were marked by scores of footprints of investigators and reporters. There was a noticeable patch of green where Mrs. Misinay’s body was found.

Before leaving his Brookfield home Thursday morning, Blackshear said he had told his wife, Traci, that he had some places he needed to search.

“Basically I’ve been spending the last 14 days trying to get her back to her kids,” Blackshear said of Frankie, 6, and Gillian, 4.

Mrs. Misinay’s husband Frank hasn’t spoke to the media since his wife disappeared. His uncle Frank Martuccio, a Hermitage paving contractor with whom Misinay worked, said Frank was too emotional to talk.

He was taken to the hospital after police told him his wife was found dead, Martuccio said, adding Misinay returned home and was with his children Thursday night.

Parked vehicles lined Park Avenue and Shenango Boulevard in Farrell as friends and family came and went at the Misinay home.

A 1983 graduate of Farrell High School, Mrs. Misinay was a daughter of Bernice and the late William Stanton. She previously worked at a Youngstown architecture firm until she decided to become a full-time mother in 2002.

She was a homeroom mother at Notre Dame Elementary School in Hermitage and was described by friends as a devoted mom.

The family hasn’t made funeral arrangements or released obituary information.

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