The Iowa Department of Public Safety says skeletal remains found in Henry County in March are likely those of a missing woman and they are still looking into her death.
The remains are believed to belong to Jackie Douthart, who was 24-years-old when she disappeared in May of 2011. Two children found the remains in a ditch along Old Highway Highway 34 in between Lockridge and Rome.
The DCI Crime Lab has tried to make a DNA match but because the bones have been exposed to the elements it hasn’t worked. The remains are being sent to another lab to try to extract mitochondrial DNA, which may allow a DNA profile to be created.
A forensic anthropologist was able to determine the remains matched basic descriptions of Douthart and investigators say some of her personal items, a ring and watch, were recovered with the remains. They believe the remains are those of Douthart.
Investigators say Jackie Douthart was last seen with Benjamin Biggs. He was identified as a person of interest in the case and interviewed several times but had not been charged in relation with the case at the time of his death in June of 2011.
Officials say Biggs killed himself after stealing a car in Quincy, Illinois and leading police on a chase. He shot two police officers during the chase, but their protective clothing meant they were not injured. Biggs barricaded himself in a home and was found dead later with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Efforts to scientifically identify the remains continue as well as the investigation into Douthart’s death and whether Biggs was responsible.