PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – She’s remembered as a woman who was passionate about fitness, and on the day her body was discovered – she was supposed to have moved into her new studio.
40-year old Susan Loper’s murder is still a shock to those who knew her best. As police continue their search for her killer, her friends and family preserve her legacy.
Plano Police say the fitness instructor and mother was kidnapped outside the Gleneagles Country Club early Tuesday morning. Her SUV was found late that same night, abandoned and laced with sensitive evidence, at a public parking lot off the Dallas North Tollway and Parker Road.
Loper’s body was later found on Wednesday morning, in an empty field in Frisco.
Sources tell CBS 11 a search of a former boyfriend’s house was conducted Wednesday night, yet he is missing.
The U.S. Marshals and Texas Rangers are now assisting in the investigation. Although no specific suspects have been named, police say they hope to have a list narrowed down by Thursday night – just 24 hours after her body was found.
But for those left without Loper, life isn’t the same.
“I don’t think there’s any way to start processing it all. Right now, we’re in survival mode,” Julie Mitchell said.
For Loper’s closest friends and family, little can be done to comfort their wounded hearts and clousure in her case can’t come soon enough.
“From what we understand, there’s more than one person of interest at this point – there’s not a lot that shocks me right now,” Mitchell said.
As loved ones still struggle with her unexplained murder, Loper’s former business partner lives with a daily reminder of her absence.
“It’s hard because every step of the way, we’ve done it together. It was her dream and her vision and I was a part of it,” Willow bend Fitness CEO David Greene said.
The empty space would’ve been Loper’s new fitness studio. She was supposed to have moved into the space Wednesday. Yet, a day that was to mark a new beginning, instead is marred by the memory of an investigation into her murder.
“It still seems very surreal,” Greene said. “When the phones started ringing on Tuesday and people were looking for her – I just figured she was doing something or busy.”
As authorities continue their search for a killer, friends continue their search for solice.
“Knowing what happened – and what did happen. I had no idea she had any enemies or anything,” Greene said.
“The investigation is at the back of our minds – it’s there, it’s haunting, but we’ve lost our friend, we’ve lost part of our family. There’s nothing that will bring her back.”
Loper leaves behind an 8-year-old son. A trust fund has been established for him:
Jake Loper Trust
c/o Ferguson Law Group
2500 Dallas Parkway, Suite 260
Plano, Texas 75093