UPDATE: Human remains found in Eaton County have been identified
Investigators have identified the human remains found in Eaton Rapids Township on March 28 as Stephanie Southwell of Lansing. Southwell was last seen in the Lansing area around one year ago when she was 35 years old.
Police described the remains as badly decomposed when they were discovered in a wooded area near Wilbur Highway and Spruce Road. The cause of death has not been determined but police are investigating this as a homicide.
Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich says it was one of Southwell's family members who came forward and gave DNA to help identify her.
"The tennis shoe that we showed on the news a while back, a family member seen that and says, 'Well that's Stephanie's shoe,'" said Sheriff Reich.
The Eaton County Sheriff's Office worked with the MSU Departments of Anthropology and Integrative Biology and the Medical Examiner's Office to identify the remains.
"I've been in law enforcement for 32, 33 years now and this is the first one we had to go through MSU," said Sheriff Reich.
News 10 and wilx.com will continue to keep you updated on this developing story.