The death of Alison McAllister, 56, is being treated as unexplained.
She was last seen about 5.20 pm on Monday near Asda in the Summerston area of Glasgow.
Her body was discovered at the canal near to Cleveden Road around 1.30pm on Tuesday.
Police said she got into her blue Vauxhall Mokka car and drove off just after 5.30pm on Monday. The car was found in Collina Street and officers are working to trace Ms McAllister’s movements.
Around 5ft and slim with short brown hair, Ms McAllister was wearing a dark-coloured parka jacket with orange lining, a grey coloured V-neck top with a red and white tartan scarf, black leggings and black knee-length boots.
She was also carrying an Asda bag for life.
Her family have been informed and a post-mortem examination is to be carried out to determine the exact circumstances of the death.
Detective Inspector Craig McPhail said: “It’s imperative we find out how Alison died and the circumstances which led to her death.
“Her family is understandably very upset and we want to provide them with answers.
“I am appealing to members of the public who were in the Summerston, Maryhill and Canal Path areas to think back and consider if they saw Alison or her car.
“Was she alone, was she with someone? It’s important that we find out her movements and I would urge anyone who thinks they may have seen her or has any information which could assist our enquiries, to get in touch.”