CHELMSFORD -- The 28-year-old woman from Chelmsford reported missing earlier this week was found dead in Dracut Friday afternoon, according to police.

Brittany Chiasson was reported missing to Chelmsford police by her parents on Tuesday after their daughter did not return home Monday night. She was found at 3 p.m. on Friday in her car at a parking lot off Bridge Street, and officials believe that she died of a heroin overdose, according to Dracut Deputy Police Chief David Chartrand.

Police obtained video surveillance of the parking lot at 227 18th St., and it appears that Chiasson arrived at the parking lot on Monday around 2:30 p.m., Chartrand said. The vehicle never left, he said.

"There was no outward sign of trauma, and within the vehicle, we recovered a substance consistent with heroin," Chartrand said. "We haven't done any definitive test. The medical examiner has accepted jurisdiction to determine the cause of death.

"The circumstances are similar to that of an overdose," he added.

Chiasson, who lived with her parents, Paul and Margaret Chiasson, at 9 Singlefoot Road, phoned the Dunkin' Donuts in Acton before her scheduled 6 a.m. shift on Monday morning to say she would not be reporting for work on Tuesday, police said. She spent part of the next several hours driving around the area, including dropping a friend off at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Lowell at 2 p.m., according to Chelmsford police.


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Chiasson's name and photos were uploaded by police into the FBI's National Crime Information Center database on Wednesday as a "missing and endangered" person, Chelmsford Deputy Police Chief James Spinney reported.

Spinney said detectives were considering all possibilities, including taking into account a possible link to Chaisson's past issues with substance-abuse. They believe she may have been headed to Lawrence on Monday.

Chartrand said that area police departments in Greater Lowell and Greater Lawrence are seeing an "extremely strong and powerful heroin on the street now. There's been a high spike in overdoses."

Follow Rick Sobey on Twitter and Tout @rsobeyLSun.