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GREAT FALLS - An alderwoman from Lethbridge, Alberta did not return home after attending a weekend meeting with Great Falls city commissioners, police said.

Great Falls police call her disappearance suspicious, and Lethbridge police are considering sending officers here to help in the investigation, an official said Monday.

Darlene Heatherington arrived in Great Falls on Thursday for a meeting with city commissioners. Great Falls commissioners had also met with the Lethbridge city government in March.

Heatherington, 39, was last heard from Saturday morning when she called her family. She failed to return to Lethbridge by Saturday afternoon as planned and Lethbridge police called Great Falls for help.

Her rental car, containing personal items, was found in the Civic Center parking lot on Sunday.

Heatherington is described a 5 feet, 5 inches tall and 115 pounds. She has blonde hair.

Sgt. Jaime Fisher of the Lethbridge Police Service said police there are working closely with Great Falls police and U.S. and Canadian border authorities on the case.

Police also are working with Heatherington's family, and Fisher said border guards were given a photograph of Heatherington to help with the search.

Great Falls police did not immediately return calls seeking comment Monday.

Great Falls Mayor Randy Gray said the case is especially troubling because of the close relationship Great Falls and Lethbridge city officials have developed.

"It kind of hits you in the gut," Gray said on Monday. "She was just a very, very nice lady, very engaging, innovative and fun to be around."

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