FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Human remains that were found in Clarendon County back in June 2014 have been identified as those of a woman missing from Florence since January 2009.
Clartha McLeod's remains were found on June 9, 2014, in the deep woods off Tearcoat Road in Alcolu, South Carolina, according to Clarendon County Deputy Coroner Charles Jackson.
The remains were identified recently by anthropologists at the Center for Human Identification in North Texas State University, Jackson said. They used DNA from several relatives to identify McLeod. The remains will be returned to Clarendon County officials, who will notify McLeod's family to make arrangements.
McLeod, who was 74 when she went missing, was last seen in Clarendon County in January 2009. She had been diagnosed to be in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's disease, according to the CUE Center for Missing Persons.
Sheriff's deputies, firefighters, and volunteers from across the county searched for McLeod for several weeks after her disappearance, but the search dogs lost her scent, according to officials.
The family held several vigils to honor McLeod in the weeks and years after her disappearance, some with the assistance of the CUE Center for Missing Persons.
"I did not know Mrs Clartha at the time she disappeared. But I have seldom ridden through hickory hill that I have not reflected on that day and wondered what on earth could have happened and where she could possibly be. So sad for this family!" posted Shannon Knowlton Webster on the "Missing Person Clartha McLeod" Facebook page.