- Associated Press - Saturday, December 26, 2015

GOSHEN, Vt. (AP) - The father of a Connecticut woman whose remains were found in Vermont nearly a year after she disappeared said his daughter was tough and must have known her killer.

William Hart, of East Hartford, Connecticut, tells the Rutland Herald (https://bit.ly/1OlWaXA ) that 24-year-old Denise Hart wouldn’t have let a stranger get close enough to harm her.

“She would fight anything that moved. She wouldn’t take nobody’s crap,” he said. “She was like me, a fighter. We used to call her Muhammad Ali.”

Denise Hart disappeared Jan. 25. The car she was driving was found burning the next day in Cornwall and her skeletal remains were discovered by hikers Tuesday off the edge of a remote road in Goshen. Police say she was a victim of homicide but haven’t said how she died.

She lived in Hartford, Connecticut, but had ties to Rutland and Addison counties in Vermont. When she disappeared, her father didn’t know she was missing right away.

“I was in the dark. Imagine your daughter is missing for four or five days and finding out after the fact,” he said. “I thought she just took off, and she would pop back up. I thought, ‘She can’t be dead.’”

William Hart says his daughter was studying to become a parole officer.

“She definitely wanted to become something,” he told the Herald.

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