WEST PLAINS, Mo. – A spokesman for the Howell County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that human remains found near Mountain View in March have been identified as those of a woman reported missing in September of 2015.

Deputy Shannon Caldwell said today that the skeletal remains are those of Elizabeth Hornbeck, reported missing after she did not return home after work on Sept 24, 2015. She was last seen at Veterans Memorial Park in Mountain View on that date.

Caldwell said the remains were identified through DNA analysis. They will soon be returned to her family for final arrangements, he said.

Authorities believe they know the cause of death and have leads in the case, he said, but that information cannot be released while the investigation continues.

Hornbeck’s remains were found by a man looking for scrap metal off Howell County Road 3140 near Mountain View. Items found with the remains lead investigators to believe the body was that of Hornbeck, but testing was required to confirm that suspicion.