A St. Mary’s County woman who had been reported missing was found dead near a park Friday evening, and police are investigating the case as a possible homicide.

Moneta Jo Strickland, 32, of California, was reported missing by family and friends after she did not show up for work at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital on Thursday.

Her vehicle was located later at the John V. Baggett Park at Laurel Grove, close to Three Notch Trail. Police officers and K-9 units canvassed the area before finding Strickland’s body.

Her body was transported to the Maryland medical examiner’s office for an autopsy report to determine the cause and manner of death. St. Mary’s County police spokeswoman Cpl. Angela M. Delozier said the circumstances of Strickland’s disappearance and death appear to be suspicious. She said homicide detectives for the county are working with Maryland State Police.