Sheriff's deputies in Stafford County, Va. say human remains discovered in a wooded area just off Interstate 95 are those of a D.C. woman who disappeared six years ago.
In mid-August, a truck driver on northbound on I-95 decided to take an informal "comfort stop." At Exit 140 in Stafford County, he pulled his rig onto the off-ramp. To get a little privacy, the truck driver walked from the exit ramp a short distance into the nearby woods.
There, the truck driver observed what appeared to be a human skull on the ground. He called the Sheriff's Office, which is located only about a half mile away.
Investigators recovered a full set of human remains, and a careful search of the woods turned up a piece of plastic lying on the ground a short distance from the body.
"It was not a driver's license," explained Capt. Billy Bowler of the Stafford County Sheriff's Office. "It was an identification card of sorts that led us to Washington D.C. [It] was near the remains."
The ID card was issued to Katherine Bryant, who at the age of 33, had mysteriously disappeared. Her family filed a missing persons report with D.C. Police in July of 2006.
DNA testing of the remains found in the woods (and of items furnished by the family) confirmed that the body found in Stafford County is that of Katherine Bryant, and her death is being investigated as a homicide.
"We're pretty confident that this is not a natural death," said Capt. Bowler.
Bowler would not reveal whether police know of the precise cause of death.
With a trail that is now six years old, investigators are asking that anyone who knew Katherine Bryant -- either in D.C. or in Virginia -- to please contact the Stafford County Sheriff's Office. The phone number is 540-658-4400.