MILLBOURNE, PA — Authorities are saying a 44-year-old woman, whose body was found in a Pennsylvania state park almost a week after being reported missing, committed suicide by inhaling helium gas.

A man contacted police on December 2 to report that he had returned home and was unable to find his girlfriend, Teresa Mastracola.

He’d last seen her that morning as she left for Delaware County Memorial Hospital where she worked as an imaging Equipment Specialist, and her co-workers reported that Mastracola never showed up for work that day.

Police did not immediately treat the woman’s disappearance as suspicious because Mastracola, a Master Sergeant with the National Guard, was an avid hiker and would often spend days out in the woods. But this past Saturday, her body was found in a heavily wooded area deep in Ridley Creek State Park.

Authorities have not released all the details surrounding her death, but are confident foul play was not involved, and that the woman had committed suicide. Coroner Frederic Hellman listed her cause of death as chemical asphyxia from helium inhalation.


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