- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

SITKA, Alaska (AP) - The disappearance of a Sitka woman three years ago is now under investigation as a possible homicide.

KCAW reports (http://bit.ly/1fJZQZH) Lael Grant’s sister Erika Burkhouse filed a presumptive death petition in April that was granted Thursday. Sitka Police Department detective Ryan Silva says the case remains open as a potential homicide.

The jury ruled Lael died sometime in October 2012 under unknown circumstances. Grant was last seen two days after her father’s funeral on October 13, 2012. Her car was found parked 8 miles outside of Sitka.

Silva says his focus now is to find her remains.

Burkhouse, Silva and former Sitka Police detective Jason Sexton said in court that Grant was involved with drugs.

Burkhouse said the death certificate is an important step toward closure for her mother and Grant’s sons, now 15 and 12 years old.

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Information from: Daily Sitka (Alaska) Sentinel, http://www.sitkasentinel.com/

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