- Associated Press - Monday, September 21, 2020

SEARSBURG, Vt. (AP) - A set of human remains discovered last year in Searsburg have been identified as those of a New York woman, Vermont State Police said Monday.

An autopsy has ruled the death of Jessica Hildenbrandt, 43, of Ballston Spa, New York, as a homicide, although the cause of death has not been determined.

On Sept. 17, 2019, police were called to investigate the discovery of a human jawbone in a gravel pit. A subsequent investigation located additional human remains at the site.

Detectives used DNA analysis and extensive investigative work to identify the remains as those of Hildenbrandt, who was known to spend time in southern Vermont. She was last in touch with her family in July 2019.

Detectives with the Vermont State Police Criminal Division are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding Hildenbrandt’s death.

Police do not believe there is a threat to public safety.

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