Human remains found in late June six miles north of Tenmile in a heavily forested area have been tentatively identified as a 55-year-old Myrtle Creek woman who went missing in early 2011.
The remains were found in the 8000.
The death of Deborah Natalie Schneider is being treated as a homicide, Douglas County sheriff’s spokesman Dwes Hutson said today.
“The death is suspicious,” Hutson said. Authorities declined to elaborate about what led them to believe Schneider was a homicide victim.
A person traveling on the land, west of Roseburg and owned by Seneca Jones Timber Co. of Eugene, found the remains in the 800 block of Coos Bay Wagon Road on June 30.
Tentative identification was made following examination by the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office and the state forensic anthropologist.
Positive identification is pending DNA testing by the Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas. That process could take several months.
Schneider, who lived at a residence on South Pacific Highway south of Myrtle Creek, was reported missing Jan. 24, 2011.
Her family had not seen or heard from her in more than a year and were worried about her.
Before her disappearance, Schneider told a friend she was considering checking herself into an alcohol treatment center, possibly in Eugene. She was last seen in the Roseburg area in February 2010.
An extensive search was completed in the area where the remains were found. Evidence, including items of clothings, were recovered.
“The remains are skeletal, so that complicates things. Still, there are a lot of things detectives can do with what they found,” Hutson said.
Anyone with information on Schneider’s disappearance or death are asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 541-440-4471 or the detectives tip line at 541-957-2099.
• Reporter John Sowell can be reached at 541-957-4209 or firstname.lastname@example.org.