GAFFNEY, S.C. (AP) — Human remains found in the woods in South Carolina have been identified as a woman who has been missing for almost three years.
Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller said the remains found Wednesday were those of Falon Michelle Cooksey, 30, who was last seen June 10, 2018, in Blacksburg, The Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported.
Mueller said the Sheriff’s Office received a tip Wednesday from someone who had seen human remains off Matthews Drive in Gaffney.
“We all had hopes and dreams and prayers that Falon Michelle Cooksey would be found alive and returned to her family,” Mueller said. during a news conference Thursday. “Unfortunately, yesterday the Sheriff’s office located the remains.”
Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler said skeletal remains, including a jawbone with teeth, were recovered from the scene and were compared to Cooksey’s dental records for a match. Cooksey’s credit cards and driver’s license also were found at the scene.
Fowler said his office will conduct a forensic analysis of the remains but it appears Cooksey “died at her own hands.” Further details were not released.
Mueller said investigators spent more than 2,500 hours trying to find Cooksey with the search being conducted in five counties.
“This outcome is certainly not what law enforcement wanted and not the outcome this family wanted, however, with the discovery of the remains, it will allow this family to have a memorial service for Falon and bring some closure and healing for this family,” Mueller said.